Leading RaybestosÂ® Rookie contender Ryan Newman in the no. 12 AllTel/Mobil 1 Ford won the pole for Sunday's New Hampshire 300. Newman won his third pole of the 2002 season and set a track record for New Hampshire International Speedway (28.802...
Leading Raybestos® Rookie contender Ryan Newman in the no. 12 AllTel/Mobil 1 Ford won the pole for Sunday's New Hampshire 300. Newman won his third pole of the 2002 season and set a track record for New Hampshire International Speedway (28.802 seconds, 132.241 mph). He won his third Bud pole of the season (california and chicagoland were the others). His previous best start of at NHIS was seventh this past July.
"The car was good the minute we unloaded it out of the truck. The first laps felt pretty good. We kept whittling on it all day and it kept getting faster and faster each time. The track got faster there for a while and then the track started to slow up a little bit around noon with the sun beating down on it. It was a fast race car all day and we were fast on old tires and new tires which doesn't necessarily say a lot because the tire is pretty durable. It was a good qualifying lap. I missed it a little bit on my first one. The tires came in better for the second lap and just took what it had and it felt really good. Overall, it was a great effort for the whole team. To win the third pole this year is important for me as a driver. It's something else that we can win, the most poles, which puts us a little closer to doing that. I guess it's not bad being a Raybestos® Rookie of the Year Contender."
IT IS HARD TO BACK UP WHAT YOU RUN IN PRACTICE HERE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE BUT YOU DID IT.
"We did. The guys did an awesome job preparing the Alltel Ford. We got a good draw, which was a small advantage, but I think the car was definitely the fastest one here all day. Hopefully it can be that way on Sunday. We need to prepare for a different race here this coming Sunday. The track looks a lot better down in three and four, especially. One and two wasn't the issue the first time here. The track was coming up a little bit in three and four and now it doesn't seem to be having those kinds of issues. The track is very similar, one and two versus three and four. Hopefully it will make for a good race on Sunday."
YOU HAVE FINISHED SECOND FOUR TIMES THIS SEASON. CAN YOU WIN SUNDAY?
"I hope so. That's a record that we're not shooting for, is finishing second the most times in a row before a win. We'll do the best we can. That's what we continue to do all season is to keep doing the best job we possibly can. That's got us some good races and some good runs. Sometimes one little thing can take you out but hopefully we'll be there on Sunday."
MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF, NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD:
"We're pretty happy. Ryan did a great job all day and put in a good lap. The guys did a great job preparing the car and it was a great motor from Penske engines. It was an all around good team effort."
THE WEATHER CHANGED FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING. DID YOU COMPENSATE FOR THAT? WERE YOU CONCERNED?
"We didn't compensate any for it. It was back and forth a lot. There wasn't any point in trying to guess what the weather was going to do so we just stayed where we were at and tuned it back up pretty well."
DID YOU RUN BETTER BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER CHANGE?
"We ran almost the same lap time. He was within a hundredth of a second on all three sets of tires. It didn't seem to affect him at all, actually. It's weird."
IS THIS CAR YOU ARE USING HERE AT NHIS THAT GOOD?
"We ran it a couple of times earlier in the year and it's always run decent. Today it ran better than it has in the past. It was good."
JIMMIE JOHNSON IN THE NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 19TH.
"It seemed to be okay. I've been struggling a little here bit since we've gotten here. I don't have a lot of experience here and have always struggled a little bit but today has been little harder on me than normal. I brushed the wall off turn four and put us behind but luckily I got a great team in the Lowe's Monte Carlo. All my guys have been working real hard and got this car back in good shape. Chad (Knaus, crew chief) made some adjustments and we've picked up some speed. I don't know what's going to happen with everybody else coming out but so far so good for the Lowe's Monte Carlo."
NOTE: JOHNSON BRUSHED THE WALL DURING PRACTICE COMING OFF TURN FOUR PRIOR TO QUALIFYING.
THIS IS BECOMING STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR YOU.
"I'm tired of the standard procedure of bending things. At least we're doing it on Fridays. Knock on wood, we haven't done anything on Sunday yet but at least we're doing it on Fridays and getting it out of the way having a good day after that."
HOW WAS THE TRACK WHEN YOU QUALIFIED?
"The track's good. It was okay last time until we got to the race situation. It will be interesting to see what happens."