Newman's Charger Wins Pole at Las Vegas RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Mobil 1/ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Pole winner. 28th career pole, first at LVMS. NOTE: This is the first pole for a Dodge Charger since Richard Petty won the No. 1 starting spot at...
Newman's Charger Wins Pole at Las Vegas
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Mobil 1/ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Pole winner. 28th career pole, first at LVMS.
NOTE: This is the first pole for a Dodge Charger since Richard Petty won the No. 1 starting spot at Ontario Speedway on Nov. 18, 1977.
"We're really happy. We unloaded really fast with our ALLTEL/Mobil 1 Dodge Charger. It felt like we had a car capable of the pole right off the truck. I don't think we had an advantage by any means going out when we did with the track cooling off, especially in turns one and two. Never the less we were able to pull it off. I was really worried about Greg Biffle going out later and was P2 in practice, but I'm happy to get my first pole at Las Vegas for sure.
"That was a different deal. We only had 10 sets of tires to work with (during winter west test at LVMS) and we cut a couple of tires from debris of pit road and stuff. We thought it was safer not to use those tires and go out and try to knock down the wall. We were pretty happy with the balance at the test. We brought back the car we raced at California. We're trying to make all the right decisions at the right time at the right place. Today it worked out. Hopefully when we get this racecar in race trim it'll be just as competitive.
"It was a great deal. We went to see the Hoover Dam yesterday. People think it's neat to see on a postcard or something like that, but it's really awesome to see in person. To think 70 years ago by hand and by manpower they built that dam. To think about how much life it supports it's really cool to think about it.
"We've lost more races on luck and won more races on talent. Hopefully talent will take over. We've had great racecars the first two races this year. We look forward to having another opportunity to get to victory lane. It's definitely easier for anybody to qualify than to race because there are less variables. You don't have pit stops, you don't have traffic. You don't have a lot of things. You don't have to worry about the car balance changing over 40 or 50 or 60 laps. For me it's a lot of fun to go out and compete against the racetrack.
"You've pretty much committed to your package. I don't think anything was exchanged or could have been.
"I've always said when we've won the pole we have no excuse. We've admitted we have the fastest racecar. If we can make it drive good for 60 laps, which it usually takes here, especially with the softer tires, it tends to fall off a little bit more than it did in previous years. I think that's the most important part right now. Obviously we'll have a good pit and track position to get our bonus points, but just being there for 267 laps is going to be the ultimate goal. I think the race will be a typical track position, flat race track type of race. It seems like the more we come here the wider the groove gets in the corners and we can race a little bit more.
"Historically, obviously, the Roush cars are dominant at this track. I think if you look at the top 10 in points the past two years and right now it's usually the same basic group. Matt Kenseth has had two wins here the past two years. We're just going to do our best and see how we stand up."
BOB WILDBERGER (Senior Manager, NASCAR Operations -- Dodge Motorsports)
"The Charger is here with performance on the track and performance in the showroom. We just proved it in our third race out. We're at the front of the pack going into the Las Vegas race. I think we're ready to win a race now."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Mobil 1/ALLTEL Dodge Charger)
COMMENT IMMEDIATELY AFTER QUALIFYING LAP "So far, so good. That was pretty impressive on my part as far as just getting speed and everything. I felt like I pretty much nailed everything. If somebody else beats us, it's because they beat us. I'm really happy with the way this ALLTEL Dodge Charger unloaded out of the box, and I look forward to racing in race trim.
"I didn't think we could pick up half a second from practice, especially with it being hotter out. I think the sun's definitely changing its angle a little bit, and it's not any cooler out.
"It wasn't a nerve-wracking lap. You hang it out there as far as you can and this is a place where it's relatively flat compared to most racetracks, so when you're on the edge you're on that much more of an edge. It was a great run.
"Track position is always important no matter where you go. You get a good pit selection when you qualify up front and you get good track possession, too. I'm not sure if it will hold up. We'll just have to wait and see. Greg Biffle going out third from last will be interesting."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger)
"We got the balance right for qualifying and picked up about three tenths. It wasn't too bad. We brought back a different car than the one we tested here. This is the Charger we raced at California, and we think it's going to be a lot better here."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"We have a new Dodge Charger that we've been working with. It's a good car. We just have to keep trying different things, and I think we're getting closer. The guys have done a good job of trying different stuff, and hopefully we'll be good on Sunday. It's not a whole lot of a different car. Everything is about the same, but the aero balance is a little bit different and it takes a little time to figure it out. We've got a good race team, and when we figure it out it'll be good. The guys changed the car around before qualifying, and it was a lot better. We were a lot faster than we were in practice."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
"The car bottomed out on our first lap, and I wasn't sure if we should make another one or not, but the car had good grip so we went for it. We'll go to work and get it ready to race."
TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 77 Mobil 1/Kodak/Jasper Dodge Charger)
"I think Shane Wilson (crew chief) is my ace in the hole. He worked out here for years with Orleans Racing and he knows what it takes to get around this racetrack. This hasn't been one of my best tracks, but they gave me a great car and it's nice to get the Mobile 1 car up front. It's starting to come together. I have a lot of confidence in the car now and I know what it should feel like. It's a big adjustment. I knew what I needed to feel in the truck, and I knew exactly how far I could push it. It's taken a little time to get used to the Cup car. After the Atlanta test and then coming here, I've got a lot of confidence in my team, and we're starting to run better. Buddy Baker was in Atlanta trying to coach me along. He didn't yell at me too much during the entire two days of testing, so I knew I must have been doing something right. He said we did a good job, and we had a good test. Buddy tells me I'm only as fast as the car, and he said if the car wasn't right to tell the guys to fix it. I know it's up to Shane and me and the 77 team to get the performance going. We struggled in our Las Vegas test a month ago. We left here disappointed, but we went to California and tested decent. We didn't race good there, but Shane worked hard during the race at California and we got the car running good. I figured out what I needed to feel, and it has translated a lot to here. It's just kind of working out right now."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
"I got down in one and two and couldn't pick the throttle up like I needed to. Then in three and four it was the worst. I got in there good and then started sliding. I hate to wait on the throttle. I think we got the rear end too stiff for qualifying. I think I've got a real good setup for the race. We made a lot of laps here testing, so I feel good for the race. We just had it a little too loose for qualifying. We've started off the season with two top 10s, and we'd like to kick that up to a top five here. I think we've got a car that's capable of doing that if we get it right."