RYAN NEWMAN IN THE ALLTEL FORD WAS THE HIGHEST QUALIFYI8NG RAYBESTOSÂ® ROOKIE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE. THIS IS THE 10TH RACE IN 2002 THAT NEWMAN HAS TAKEN HOME THE HONOR AND THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE (HE WON THE POLE ONE WEEK AGO AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY).
RYAN NEWMAN IN THE ALLTEL FORD WAS THE HIGHEST QUALIFYI8NG RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE. THIS IS THE 10TH RACE IN 2002 THAT NEWMAN HAS TAKEN HOME THE HONOR AND THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE (HE WON THE POLE ONE WEEK AGO AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY). NEWMAN WILL START SEVENTH IN SUNDAY'S NEW ENGLAND 300.
Ryan Newman (Alltel Ford) - highest qualifying Raybestos Rookie:
"It's not a bad lap for sure. We came up here and tested actually and didn't test too bad. We unloaded and the track conditions were a lot different. We worked the car up to about fourth there at the end (of practice) but we came from about 28th in practice. Overall, it was a good team effort to make the racecar get better and better each run."
DID THE NEW PAVEMENT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TRACK MAKE YOU USE A DIFFERENT SETUP UNDER THE CAR?
"From what we tested with the conditions are different and that's what has changed everything, I think. The track is a little faster and has more laps on it from other racecars. I don't think there is anything exotic about it to make any difference. It will be interesting to see what the race conditions are like and if there really are two grooves or one and-a-half and we still have to beat around each other. There's nothing exotic about the setup to make it handle around here because of the new track or the new pavement."
"The car was pretty good all day. When we unloaded it wasn't as good as we wanted but it wasn't bad. We did get the luxury of coming up here and testing and we learned a few things. In the meantime the speedway got repaved in (turns) three and four and the weather conditions are quite a bit different from what we tested. Things had to be changed a little bit. We kind of tuned on it a little bit all day and knocked off a pretty good lap there in qualifying but it wasn't what it took."
Jimmie Johnson (Lowe's Chevrolet) - qualified 13th:
"I thought we had a shot at the pole but I think a little inexperience cost me. There was really nothing from practice to qualifying for me to remember for reference points getting into the turns. I made some mistakes on both my laps getting into the corner. It was a lot easier in practice when I was out there time after time and had it memorized. Sitting for a couple of hours and then going back out, I made some small mistakes getting into the turn."
DID THE NEW PAVEMENT IN THE CORNERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
"I haven't been here enough times to have an opinion either way. I know it's hard, reference wise, to know where you're at and where to turn in and all the stuff that goes on there. I haven't been here enough to work up an opinion on it."
DID WHERE YOU DRAW FOR QUALIFYING MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE?
"I think it's pretty even all day today. The conditions were pretty consistent throughout all of qualifying. Initially we thought it was going to be an advantage but I don't think it ended up to be much of an advantage at all."