Newman Third Fastest in Pole Day Qualifying at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2010) -- It was another good news, bad news Daytona 500 qualifying performance for U.S. Army driver Ryan Newman. As he did last year at the opening Sprint Cup ...
Newman Third Fastest in Pole Day Qualifying at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2010) -- It was another good news, bad news Daytona 500 qualifying performance for U.S. Army driver Ryan Newman. As he did last year at the opening Sprint Cup event, he was the third fastest in Pole Day time trials at Daytona International Speedway.
But under NASCAR's format for the opener, Pole Day locks in the top-two qualifiers for next Sunday's (Feb. 14) Daytona 500 and establishes starting positions for Thursday's 60-lap, 150-mile qualifying races. The results from the two 150-milers will determine the starting field -- positions 3-43 -- for the 500.
Newman will be in Thursday's first qualifying race and will start on the outside pole.
"It would have been nice to lock in one of those front row spots for the 500," said Newman, who was the second of 54 drivers to make a qualifying lap. "But overall we had a strong performance today and I look for more of the same next week. I want to give a shout-out to all the Soldiers -- we are doing our best for you."
In Saturday's two-lap qualifying show, Newman's No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet covered the 2.5-mile oval in 47.225 seconds at 190.577 miles per hour.
He was a few ticks slower than the top-two qualifiers -- Mark Martin (pole winner) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (outside pole). Martin's lap time/speed was 47.074 at 191.188 while Earnhardt's was 47.142 at 190.913. The top-three cars are Chevrolets and are powered by Hendrick engines. Rounding out the top five were Bill Elliott (fourth) and Juan Pablo Montoya (fifth).
"It was shaky out there because the wind was tricky," added Newman about his qualifying laps. "There was no good way to read the wind. A couple of things happened during the lap that I wish didn't happen, but the wind was hard to predict. It was a great effort by the U.S. Army Chevrolet. Tony Gibson (crew chief) and all the guys did an outstanding job. From now until the 500 we need to be smart and get this Soldiers' car ready for the big race."
Newman's Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Tony Stewart, was 21st fastest and will start 11th in Thursday's second qualifying race.