Newman grabs his first 2006 pole in Dover

Ryan Newman will start from the pole for Sunday's Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover International Speedway after posting a lap of 154.633 mph. Newman, who once dominated NASCAR Cup series qualifying days, hasn't been the 'hot shoe' this year.

Ryan Newman will start from the pole for Sunday's Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover International Speedway after posting a lap of 154.633 mph. Newman, who once dominated NASCAR Cup series qualifying days, hasn't been the 'hot shoe' this year. This is Newman's first pole of the 2006 season.

"It's nice to be on the pole again, it's been awhile," commented Newman who earned his 36th career pole.

Newman has started in the top five in the last seven races at Dover. He also has three victories at the 'monster mile'.

"That wasn't a perfect lap but it was a good lap," said Newman. "Concrete race tracks usually don't change that much, but I'm just glad we picked up from practice. I love the racetrack. It's No. 2 to Darlington for me. We finally got to work on qualifying setup a little bit in practice instead of race trim. It definitely paid off for us."

Jeremy Mayfield was second with a lap of 154.361 mph, "We got loose coming to the green and I thought for sure I was going to wreck. I think the track loosened everyone up a little bit. I just got on the gas early and kept getting looser. I almost lost it. I gathered my thoughts and got in a good second lap."

Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick completed the top five.

"We are thrilled to be third, things have been going well for the DuPont Chevrolet this weekend," said Gordon.

Notables: Ricky Rudd, who practised and qualified the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy for the injured Tony Stewart earned the 10th starting spot. Stewart plans to start the race and make laps until the first caution, when Rudd will switch spots with Stewart. Due to that driver change, the No. 20 Chevy will have to drop to the rear of the field at the start of the race.

"I didn't know how far I could push the car," Rudd explained. "It's been a long time since I have been in a Chevrolet and I didn't really know the characteristics of the car. Actually, I overdrove turn one just a little bit but I was afraid to bend the wheel. If I bent the wheel I was afraid I was going to hit the back end. That was a difference of a couple tenths we gave up."

Point leader Jimmie Johnson took a wild spin during his qualifying lap abut managed to keep the No. 48 Hendrick Chevy off the wall. He will take the green flag from the

Just nine NASCAR Nextel Cup series cars were left to take time trial laps at Dover International Speedway when the skies opened wide and a heavy rain sent race fans scurrying from the stands. After an hour break for the showers to subside and track to be dried, qualifying resumed.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson