Ryan Newman Wins the Pole for Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
BRISTOL, Tenn (August 26. 2011) – For the 48th time in his career, Ryan Newman is the pole winner for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race. Newman will start his No. 39 Bass Pro Shops/Realtree Chevrolet in the top-spot for the 500-lap Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his third Bristol pole and his second pole of the 2011 season.
Rolling off fourth in the 43-car starting field will be four-time NSCS champion Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. Mark Martin, No. 5 Farmers Insurance/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet will start fifth on Saturday night.
Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Realtree Chevrolet, will start sixth. Giving Team Chevy five drivers in the top-10 will be Paul Menard, No. 27 Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet who will start in seventh position.
Other Team Chevy qualifiers are: Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet-12th; five-time defending NSCS Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet-13th; Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Realtree/Bad Boys Buggies Chevrolet-15th; Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Hamburger Helper Chevrolet-16th; Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet-19th; Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet-21st; Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/Bristol 50th Anniversary/National Guard Chevrolet-22nd.
Rounding out the Team Chevy starters are David Stremme, No. 30 Echostar Technologies Chevrolet-31st; Dave Blaney, No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet -35th; Mike Bliss, No. 51 Phoenix Construction/Thank a Teacher Today Chevrolet-40th and two-time NSCS champion Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Office Depot Chevrolet-42nd.
RYAN NEWMAN #39 BASS PRO SHOPS / REALTREE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED: ON THE POLE
ON HIS POLE RUN: “I just was telling the guys, they did a good job. The car drove the same as it did in practice. When I ran in 95’ I did the exact same things but I guess I ran a little bit quicker. It’s a good run, gotta thank Bass Pro Shops, and Realtree. Hunting season is coming up so were raising more awareness about that. I don’t know if we will win the pole but it is a good team effort for us.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 SYLVANIA/MENARDS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 7TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING: "We were pretty happy with the car after practice today. It was decent in both qualifying and race trim. Track position is so important here so starting inside the top 10 is what we needed. The outside (row) would have been nice, but we'll get up there quick and be ok. Hopefully we'll have a good, uneventful night tomorrow night like we did in March."
CLINT BOWYER #33 HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVEROLET, QUALIFIED: 16th
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LAP: “We went out really early, but I hope it doesn’t hurt us too bad. Cause the cloud and everything kinda stayed the same. It was a decent lap, a little loose, hopefully it will hold up for a top 15 somewhere like that, and if it does it will be a good starting spot.”
JUAN PALBO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED: 19TH
WHERE DID YOU MISS JUST A LITTLE BIT? “We were a little too loose on power, getting up to speed I got sideways, at the end of the lap I got sideways. I couldn’t really be wide open. I think we are pretty good, I think right at 70 should be a good starting spot.”
YOU DID NOT MAKE A QUALIFYING RUN. HOW IS THE CAR? “I think it’s pretty good, our Target Chevy’s are getting pretty good. We struggled in the first practice, which is why we never did a qualifying run. We stayed in race trim all second practice until the last 10 minutes and made two quick qualifying runs. Just to get an idea what I had to do. I think we got closer; we are still a little bit away, I think the five car is really fast. We are better than when we started. I think we still have a lot of work to do. “
JIMMIE JOHNSON #48 LOWE’S/ KOBALT TOOLS CHEVEROLET, QUALIFIED: 13TH
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT RUN? “I think we needed another couple of tenths to contend for the pole. Glad about the fast lap that we run, but I still think the fast guys are left to go. We will just have to see, time will tell. I give Jeff Green a huge round of applause; it took some stones to take a wrecked racecar around a second lap.”
DO YOU THINK THAT IS A POLE QUALIFYING LAP? “Yea, so early I am afraid to get too excited about it. I think I need to be a tenth, tenth-and-a-half faster to have a shot at the pole. It was better than the 26th that we posted in the first practice session.”
JEFF BURTON #31 CATERPILLAR CHEVEROLET, QUALIFIED: 21ST
ON HIS QUALIFYING: “We started way behind in practice, in qualifying trim. If we would have been like that in practice we would have made a big headway on it. We just started way behind; race trim was really, really good and that right they went really good. In qualifying trim, we were just way off. But that got us back in the game a little bit.”
KEVIN HARVICK #29 REALTREE/BAD BOY BUGGIES CHEVEROLET, QUALIFIED: 15TH
ON THEIR LAP: “Our Realtree/Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet was good. We had made some improvement, loose the first lap then on the second lap I drove way into it. All in all we still have some work to do in race trim, but it is definitely an improvement.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY #1 BASS PRO SHOPS/REALTREE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED: 6TH
ON HIS TOP 10 QUALIFYING RUN: “It was really good; Bristol is such an easy place to overdrive. In practice it seemed like the good guys were on the bottom. I tried to make a lap on the bottom but I just didn’t have the speed down there. I committed to the middle to higher line. Anyone who races knows that when you hit the rev-limiter knows that you are carrying more speed. I felt the rev-limiter on that run. I was really happy with our Bass Pro Chevy. It is a big weekend for Bass Pro Shops. They have their logo on three different cars and Real tree on the side of our car AND if we win a guy wins a million dollars from Irwin Tools. It is a really big weekend for us.”
JEFF GORDON #24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED: 4TH
ON HIS LAP: “Not bad, but I thought it was a solid lap, we just missed the balance a little bit in the Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. I think we still have a decent starting position which is always a good thing here in Bristol. “
REGAN SMITH #78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED: 12TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN: “Pretty disappointed to be honest, we qualified really well here last time. Just a little too loose, in qualifying trim earlier today and we did not anticipate all this cloud cover, didn’t really adjust for it. We got a good racecar.”
MARK MARTIN #5 FARMERS INSURANCE/ GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED: 5TH
ON HIS PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING RUNS: “Car’s just feeling really good today. I am excited; this is two weeks in a row. Last weekend the car was good all weekend too. I think we will have a strong car tomorrow night. Looking forward to a good run, I am starting to feel blessed to have this ride.”