DOVER, Del. - Ryan Newman put the No. 12 Dodge on the pole for the fourth time this season, and 13th of his career posting a lap of 158.716 mph on the Dover mile. Newman picked it up slightly from practice, where he was fastest with a lap of ...
DOVER, Del. - Ryan Newman put the No. 12 Dodge on the pole for the fourth time this season, and 13th of his career posting a lap of 158.716 mph on the Dover mile. Newman picked it up slightly from practice, where he was fastest with a lap of 158.325 mph. This is Newman's first pole at the "Monster Mile" in three starts.
"I'm happy for everyone on the team," said Newman. "It was a great job, great effort. We had a great engine with good horsepower and a great car."
"The bottom line is the guy who's going to win is going to win," Newman continued. "You can't change that whether it's Rusty or I or anybody else. We're going to go out there and do the best job we can. We don't slow down for anybody."
The qualifying effort gives Newman ten top-five starts in the last eleven races. Newman is looking to build on his solid start and score a good finish at Dover. He's been involved in three accidents this year - at Daytona, California and Talladega - and has five finishes of 38th or worse.
"You don't just put it behind you," said Newman of recent bad luck on the race track. "You just remember it and learn from your mistakes whether its bad luck or you've created your own destiny. We just go out there and do the best we can, whether it's Daytona or Talladega or wherever. That's all you can do. We're doing the best job we can week in and week out. Sometimes it's not good enough and sometimes it is. Today it was, tomorrow it might not be."
Newman's teammate Rusty Wallace sets an all Penske front row.
"Ryan's on the pole, and we're second," said Wallace. "The two Penske cars, that's a neat deal. The 2 and the 12 sounds good to me. I'm proud of him (Newman). He did a good job. As a part team owner, it makes me feel good when he qualifies well."
"There's no conflict," Wallace continued. "I wish I could have got the pole, no doubt about that, but if I couldn't get the pole then the next guy I'm pulling for is him (Newman), that's for sure. There's no conflict whatsoever. He's a great qualifier and a great racer. If I can't get it, he's the guy I want to have it."
Jeremy Mayfield will start third, making a Dodge sweep of the top-three spots. It is Dodge's fifth pole this year.
"Our qualifying efforts have been really good all year," said Mayfield. "We feel like we're gaining on it. The chemistry has really come together, but we've had some back luck. Last week we did something to cut a rear tire down. We got in the wall and its shows up with a 43rd place finish.
"Other than that we were running pretty good. A lot of good things are going to happen to this team, but we've just got to keep working together."
Winston Cup point's leader Matt Kenseth will take the green flag fourth.
"I thought my lap was pretty good," said Kenseth. "I hope the track is a little slower than what it was, I don't know. I thought I got everything out of it the first lap. We missed on the setup just a little bit, but it was a pretty good lap for us."
Jimmie Johnson, who won both Dover events last season, starts fifth. Johnson is coming off an amazing few weeks; he backed-up his win at NASCAR's All-Star event The Winston with a victory at the Coca-Cola 600 last weekend. This is Johnson's seventh top-ten start this season.
"I'm pretty satisfied with that," said Johnson. "The first lap I overdrove the center, and the second lap when I slowed down a little bit I was loose off. This track is just so hard to get right for qualifying. I love this track in race trim, and can find the right thing, but qualifying has been a little bit of a challenge for me."
Sterling Marlin takes the green flag from sixth followed by Kurt Busch, Terry Labonte, and Jeff Gordon.
"We thought we'd be a little bit better," said Gordon. "I don't know, I thought there was less grip out there and that hurt us, and some other guys have been able to go pretty fast, even when the temperature's going up."
Continuing to impress is Steve Park, who just a few weeks ago took over driving duties for the RCR No. 30 Chevy. He starts tenth.
"I'm just so happy," said Park. "I'm glad I landed at RCR. We've got a great race team with this AOL team and Chevrolet."
Forty-five cars attempted to make the forty-three car field. Failing to make the show were Derrike Cope and Hermie Sadler.