Newman earns 11th pole at Rockingham

Ryan Newman today earned his series-high 11th Bud pole of the Winston Cup season with a lap of 155.557 mph. It is his 18th career pole in 79 starts. "This is a good racecar. It's done a lot of great things for us this year, and the guys have...

Ryan Newman today earned his series-high 11th Bud pole of the Winston Cup season with a lap of 155.557 mph. It is his 18th career pole in 79 starts.

"This is a good racecar. It's done a lot of great things for us this year, and the guys have done a great job. I'm just the guy who gets to sit behind the wheel and steer it. To me winning 11 poles in a season means a lot from a driver's standpoint. It ties second for all-time most poles in a season. To me, that's a great feat. There's definitely a lot of great drivers in that category."

Busch series polesitter Brian Vickers takes the green flag from the outside pole. It looked like a double-header for Vickers who held the pole through much of the time-trial session. Newman went out last and just surpassed Vickers effort.

"It was a good lap," said Vickers. "It was about all she had in her, so I shut her down (after one lap) and coasted on in."

This is Vickers' fourth start in the Winston Cup series.

Jeremy Mayfield and Tony Raines posted mirror lap speeds of 155.307 mph. Mayfield will start third and Raines fourth due to their position in standings. It is Raines' best start of the season in the unsponsored No. 74.

Championship leader Matt Kenseth starts 23rd. It's a welcome relief for Kenseth who has taken four provisional starting spots in the last six races.

"It was good for us," Kenseth said. "I didn't do a perfect job. But that's all I had in the car."

If Kenseth can finish 7th or better at this weekend's race in Rockingham, he will clinch his first Winston Cup, title no matter where any of the other contenders finish. Upon his failure to finish 7th or better, all Kenseth has to do is finish 30th or better at the next two events, and he wins the title.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in second place in the points chase, starts 26th.

It will be a tough day for the championship leaders, as The Rock tends to be a track that supports high finishes for the front-runners of the pack.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Matt Kenseth , Jeremy Mayfield , Ryan Newman , Tony Raines , Brian Vickers