Newman grabs Charlotte pole, sets new record

Hot shoe Ryan Newman set a blistering lap at Lowe's Motor Speedway to earn his sixth Bud pole of the season. Newman sets a new track record, turning the first 188 mph lap ever at LMS. "It was pretty close to a perfect lap" Newman said. "I told...

Hot shoe Ryan Newman set a blistering lap at Lowe's Motor Speedway to earn his sixth Bud pole of the season. Newman sets a new track record, turning the first 188 mph lap ever at LMS.

"It was pretty close to a perfect lap" Newman said. "I told Krissie (wife) that I wanted it (track record) back and I hoped it didn't rain. Luckily, we got good weather tonight and it was a good lap for the ALLTEL Dodge."

Newman desperately needs a good finish at Charlotte after falling one spot in Chase standings to eighth, after a 33rd place result at Kansas Speedway.

"We're just going to keep our smiley face on and do the best job we can, it's not easy to do by any means, but you have to forget about what you can't fix. You think about what you did at Dover and try to do that the next six races."

Kasey Kahne almost wrecked the No. 9 Dodge on his way to secure the outside pole position. Kahne registered a lap of 187.311 mph on his way to his 11th top-five start of the season.

"The second lap was a little bit better," commented Kahne. It was a really good lap. Ryan Newman put down a lap that is hard to beat at any racetrack."

Busch pole sitter Casey Mears knocked off the third quickest time, turning a 187.279 mph.

"That was good," said Mears. "That was a pretty good lap, but I felt like we left a little bit on the table. But, third, that's good, any time you can start up front in a NEXTEL Cup race, that's great.

"We're looking forward to a great race on Saturday night."

Rookie Scott Riggs starts fourth, after recording a lap of 186.483 mph.

"What a great effort for this team," said Riggs. "We had a good car, just not enough for the pole. Fourth is great for us, we'll take it."

Fourth place battler in the NEXTEL Chase for the Championship, Elliott Sadler, will wheel the No. 38 Ford off the grid from the fifth starting spot.

"We've got a good race car for Saturday night," said Sadler. "I think it's gonna be very, very fast. I was a little freer than I wanted to be for qualifying, but Newman ran such a great lap that I feel like I am in left field. But, that is a great start for us."

Championship front runners, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jeff Gordon all had lackluster time-trial efforts. Busch will start 21st, while Earnhardt and Gordon charge the green flag from 23rd and 25th respectively.

"We were slipping in front and I felt it coming up to speed," Busch said. "It just didn't want to stick. It felt like track temperatures earlier today were warmer and the car wanted to stick a little better, but it's no biggie."

Fifty-two racers made their bid to qualify for the forty-three car grid. Failing to make the show were Kenny Wallace, Derrike Cope, Mike Wallace, Carl Long, Kirk Shelmerdine, Larry Foyt, Hermie Sadler, Morgan Shepard and Geoffrey Bodine.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Derrike Cope , Jeff Gordon , Geoffrey Bodine , Kenny Wallace , Mike Wallace , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears , Larry Foyt , Scott Riggs , Hermie Sadler , Kirk Shelmerdine , Kasey Kahne , Carl Long