Owner - Roger Penske
Manufacturer - Dodge
Cars and Drivers
No. 2 Miller Lite
Penske Racing South had more success than any other team representing Dodge last season. Driver Kurt Busch played an essential role in the team's success, finishing seventh in the year's points standings with two wins, six top-five finishes and 14 top-10 finishes. Busch now enters his third season under Penske - and with a significant improvement last season, expectations are higher for 2008.
Veteran crew chief Pat Tryson will return to lead the pit for the No. 2 Dodge in 2008. Tryson, who was added to lead the team last June, was an integral part of its late-season push. The 43-year-old veteran crew chief has experienced success before, since he helped lead Mark Martin to eligibility for the Chase for the Cup in three consecutive seasons (2004-06) with Roush Fenway Racing. Busch believes that a full season with Tryson, whom he calls a "championship-caliber crew chief," should result in a successful 2008.
No. 12 Alltel
Returning to drive the No. 12 Dodge is veteran Ryan Newman. Newman is coming off a successful 2007, a season in which he finished 13th, with seven top-five finishes and 15 top-10 finishes. He was held winless last year; however, he does have 12 career wins to go along with 61 top-five and 98 top-10 finishes. Newman missed the Chase last season, but he has been there twice previously. He will look to be back in 2008 with crew chief Roy McCauley.
McCauley is the new crew chief, replacing Mike Nelson, who is now vice president of operations at Penske. McCauley and Newman have worked together successfully in the past, having collaborated for several NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series wins. McCauley and Newman both have engineering degrees, having graduated from the University of Maryland and Purdue University, respectively. Such education allows the pair, Newman in particular, to achieve a greater understanding of his car.
No. 77 Mobil 1
Penske Racing South decided to return to a three-car operation by introducing the No. 77 Dodge Charger, which will be driven by Sam Hornish Jr. Hornish will be participating in his first full season in NASCAR after making the transition from the IndyCar Series, where he was an extremely successful driver for Penske Racing.
Chris Carrier will be the crew chief for Hornish. The 47-year-old brings a wealth of experience, which should help Hornish make a smooth transition from IndyCar champion to stock car racer. Carrier has been a winning crew chief in NASCAR's top three levels of competition and has worked with such drivers as Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant and Bobby Allison.
Equipment and Resources
Penske Racing South - and Penske Racing in general - has been a prominent name in racing for years. It has many sponsors and a dedicated owner determined to be successful.
Roger Penske demands the best from his teams and attempts to supply them with every resource needed to succeed. This is best displayed by its state-of-the-art facility in Mooresville, N.C, at which more than 240,000 square feet are devoted to its NASCAR teams. This facility is home to some of the industry's best tools, welders, engineers and research analysts. In addition, Dodge, the team's manufacturer, enters this season hopeful that its building project, seven years in the making, has been successful and is ready to yield results.
About Mike Mady
Mike Mady has been a KFFL contributor since 2005.
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