Newman grabs pole at Atlanta

Newman grabs pole at Atlanta

Speed demon Ryan Newman has seeming carved out a permanent spot at the top of the NEXTEL Cup series speed chart, scoring his third consecutive pole in Atlanta. Newman put down a lap of 191.575 mph to earn his series-high eighth pole of the ...

Speed demon Ryan Newman has seeming carved out a permanent spot at the top of the NEXTEL Cup series speed chart, scoring his third consecutive pole in Atlanta. Newman put down a lap of 191.575 mph to earn his series-high eighth pole of the season.

Ryan Newman.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
"It was a good lap for us," said Newman. "I don't think the track was as fast as everyone thought it was going to be, but it was definitely a good lap for the ALLTEL Dodge. I look forward to the weekend and being No. 1 the entire weekend. That's our goal."

Newman took the top spot for Dodge by just 0.039 seconds over Joe Nemechek's Chevrolet, on his way to his 26th career Budweiser pole award. This is Nemechek's third top-two starting spot in his last five races.

"I gotta thank my whole team," said Nemechek. "They really stepped it up and it's showing in how we race and how we qualify."

Elliott Sadler was third, grabbing his eighth top-five start of the year. Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle complete the top five.

Joe Nemechek.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
"We came here to win this race this weekend," Sadler said. "We've got one thing on our minds and that's to win the race and take all the chances we can to try and do that. A Yates car has not won a race yet on this new configuration."

"I had a lot of grip," said Edwards. "That race track had a lot of grip. Hopefully we will get a good run on Sunday and I'm just having a blast. It's fun."

Fifty-eight cars attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field. Failing to make the show were Scott Wimmer, Scott Riggs, Kerry Earnhardt, Johnny Sauter, Hermie Sadler, Mike Wallace, Derrike Cope, Randy LaJoie, Greg Sacks, Larry Foyt, Kirk Shelmerdine, Morgan Shepard, Andy Belmont, Larry Hollenbeck and Kenny Wallace.

Notably, the Hendrick cars recovering from the tragedy of last weekends plane crash, qualified as follows: Jimmie Johnson, 8th; Jeff Gordon, 10th; Brian Vickers, 13th; and Terry Labonte, 42nd. It was one of the first weekends in recent years that Gordon was not booed by race fans, a resounding cheer rose from the crowd as the No. 24 Chevy took to the track for his time trial lap.

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Series NASCAR-CUP