RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) -- Pole Winner NOTE: Newman captured his circuit-leading fourth pole of the season and 31st of his career in 128 starts. Newman, who broke the track record with a lap of 192.988 mph, has finished fifth...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) -- Pole Winner
NOTE: Newman captured his circuit-leading fourth pole of the season and 31st of his career in 128 starts. Newman, who broke the track record with a lap of 192.988 mph, has finished fifth and third in the past two races and moved from 15th to seventh in the series standings. This is Newman's fifth pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway and his second straight at the 1.5-mile track. In nine starts at LMS, Newman has an average starting position of 2.11, and he's never started further back than fourth.
"We're never going to try to stop winning poles. We definitely enjoy it as a team. It's a lot of fun and a great way to start the weekend or Thursday night qualifying off. Basically, as I've always said, any time there's a trophy to win, we're out there to win it.
"The track is obviously faster, about half a second faster than what we experienced last fall in qualifying. It's faster, that's pretty much it. It's a little tougher to pass, mostly in one and two because of the way it's ground, which is kinda good. We've all got to work with that. As much as everybody hates to hear it, track position is so very important. Qualifying up front is a good way to start the race and we can get a good jump, lead some laps and put ourselves in good position to have a good car and make some changes as the track changes throughout the night to stay up front."
WILL YOU START ON THE OUTSIDE?
"Do I have that option? I'll have to think about that. I've got two or three days. That's a good one."
ARE YOU THE MOST ADAPTABLE GUY OUT THERE?
"If they had got the pole, I would have said it's hard to adapt and they would have said it's great to get the pole. It's just role reversal situation. It's just a matter of who you are. I never looked up a character list of myself and saw that I was adaptable. We just go out and do the best job we can and tune the car to whatever conditions are present."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW TRACK?
"The best way for me to say this is it's taken about 60 percent of the bumps away, at least in the corners. If there are bumps in the straightaways we're not too worried about that. It's definitely smoothed the racetrack out and created some more grip. Goodyear has brought a different tire to be able to stick to the surface. I think the combination is really good. It's safe. Tire wear is great. We'll take it for what it's worth and try to get 400 laps on the car."
IS IT TOO FAST FOR A GOOD RACE?
"There's two ways to answer that. We go faster at other racetracks. That's one answer. My best way of answering that is until safety is of primary concern as far as the speed in reference to the racing, as far as cars going airborne and things like that, obviously we're grateful for the safer barriers and the
things that have helped safety the past two years. Until the cars become airborne and we see situations that are new, I don't think so. I also will say, we as drivers could run two cylinder cars that have 15 horsepower and run 65 mph and still put on a heck of a show. It's all in how you look at what kind of racing you want to see."
"That was pretty close (to a perfect lap), but I saw Matt Kenseth run a pretty good lap, too. We'll have to see what the track is like. That was a real good lap for me. I was just trying to break 28 seconds, and we barely did it. It's good to have the Alltel Dodge up front.
"That's not too fast. We go faster at Texas and Atlanta. If we go faster, that's fine until safety is a question. We run faster at other tracks, so we'll see how we do here. It's all about grip. Everybody still knows where the wall's at, and if you can keep your frame of reference on the racecar you'll do just fine.
"We've always run well here and qualified in the top four every time we've been here. I really like the track. The team enjoys it. It's like racing in your backyard. It's like having a home basketball game and have your section out cheer everybody else. The last race here last fall we had a car that was capable of winning. We got caught up in a wreck with Brendan and Jimmy Spencer. We had a good shot at winning that race, and that was racing luck. We create your own destiny, and if we can do well in qualifying we can do well in the race."