Ryan Newman was born on December 8, 1977, in South Bend,Indiana. In 2001, he graduated from Purdue University with a degree in vehicle structure engineering. Ryan began racing in what is now called the Sprint Cup series in 2000,but only raced in a total of 8 races between 2000 and 2001. His first full season was in 2002. From 2000-2008, Ryan drove the #12 Alltel Dodge for Penske Racing and won 13 races and 43 poles.