The No. 12 of Ryan Newman, who has been the bright spot for Penske Racing this season, grabbed his first pole of the year for Saturday nights NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman grabbed his first pole of the...
The No. 12 of Ryan Newman, who has been the bright spot for Penske Racing this season, grabbed his first pole of the year for Saturday nights NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman grabbed his first pole of the season with a time of 26.975 (133.457 mph). He won the season opening Daytona 500 and sits tenth in the Cup standings with one win, two top-five's, and three top-ten's. He is also the series leading money winner with 2.42 million earned so far this year.
Starting on the outside of Newman in the second position will be Gillette-Evernham driver Elliott Sadler in his No. 19 Dodge. Sadler completed a front row sweep for Dodge by running a 26.984 (133.412 mph). Sadler has been quietly consistent this season with an average starting position of 24th and an average finishing position of 20.714. This is a career best starting position for Sadler at Phoenix (his previous best was ninth in 2004) and his career best finish is tenth at Phoenix.
Starting third is the No. 99 of Carl Edwards after running a 26.991 (133.378 mph). Edwards has been on a tear this season with three victories and he is the only other driver besides Newman to have earned more than two million dollars this year. Edwards is currently ninth in the Cup standings and started on the pole here during last years Fall Phoenix race. Edwards has a previous best finish of fourth at Phoenix in 2006 and has a career finishing average of 16th at Phoenix. Edwards is also the highest starting Ford for Saturday nights race.
Part-time driver Mark Martin in the No. 8 Chevrolet was the highest qualifier for Chevy today in the fourth position with a 26.993 (133.368 mph). Martin, who takes the DEI car back over from Aric Almirola, won at Phoenix way back in 1993 and has a track average finishing position of 9.36 over the past 22 starts at Phoenix.
Starting in the fifth position is the No. 9 of Kasey Kahne who has been struggling this year but still sitting 12th in the Cup standings. Kahne has been super quiet this year also with an average finishing position of 14.14, zero DNF's, and four top-tens. Kahne has completed all but six laps this year and has an average finishing position of 19th at Phoenix. His best finish was fifth in 2004 and a worst finish of 40th during the fall of 2007.
The highest qualifying Toyota was Kyle Busch, No. 18 in sixth position with a 27.012 (133.274 mph).
Jimmie Johnson qualified seventh, Jamie McMurray eighth, and Martin Truex Jr. in ninth. Scott Riggs in the No. 66 Chevrolet put together a strong qualifying run in tenth.
Paul Menard in the No. 15 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy qualified 14th and Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Dodge qualified 15th.
Dave Blaney in the No. 22 Toyota was the fastest of the cars that had to qualify in with a time of 27.220 (132.256 mph). Blaney will start Saturday nights race in 19th.
Dario Franchitti who missed last weeks race made it in on time this week qualifying 21st with a 27.264 (132.042 mph). Franchitti was also the fastest qualifying rookie at Phoenix.
Mike Skinner in the No. 84 Toyota and David Reutimann in the No. 44 Toyota both qualified in on time in 25th and 26th positions.
Rookie Michael McDowell who has been the spotlight of media attention after last weeks wreck during qualifying at Texas had a much less eventful qualifying session this week. McDowell solidly placed his No. 00 Toyota in the field and will roll off in 29th on Saturday.
Patrick Carpentier who had to qualify in on time again made it into the race by qualifying 37th. Joe Nemecheck qualified 41st, Johnny Sauter 42nd, and Kyle Petty 43rd. All three of those drivers had to qualify in on time.
Series points leader Jeff Burton will start 39th.
Since Petty qualified 43rd and Bill Elliott in the No. 21 had to use a Champion's Provisional to make the race, Petty will be going home.
The No. 45 of Petty and No. 34 of John Andretti were the only two cars unable to qualify for the night race on Saturday.