RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) Wins pole, fifth of season, 32nd career pole "It's cool to get the first pole at Michigan. I've always said this is probably the closest place to home environmentally to me being from South Bend, Ind.
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) Wins pole, fifth of season, 32nd career pole
"It's cool to get the first pole at Michigan. I've always said this is probably the closest place to home environmentally to me being from South Bend, Ind. Roger Penske built the racetrack and owned the racetrack and he's the team owner now. At the same time it's in the backyard of Dodge, and we've got a Dodge front row (and four of the top five), so we just look forward to the race. It's special on Father's Day weekend to get the pole. I told Dick Breggrenn that if I don't win the race tomorrow I won the pole today for my dad, so we'll just carry on and do the best job we can. I know Casey will be trying just as hard as I am, so may the best man win.
"I'd say 80 percent of it (26 drivers breaking track record) is a function of the weather. Usually it's 80-85 degrees here and the sun is out. If you catch a cloud you're two tenths faster. That's usually the way it is, but obviously today not a single ray of sun out and that made it equal for everybody. If it had been a sunny day Casey and I wouldn't have had a shot at the pole because it's so much warmer later as the day goes. The track is very weather sensitive as far as speed goes. I'm very happy the weather was like it was today. I figured after seeing our draw yesterday that we had no shot at the pole.
"Usually the better the driver the easier it is to overdrive the car because you can maintain control of it. You end up getting closer and closer to getting out of control when you try to go faster. Sometimes the old adage is if you slow down you'll go faster is the case. It all depends on where you're at and what's going on. Usually at the road courses the harder you drive it the faster you get. That's just the way I've seen it at road courses, but it's different at ovals. This is without a doubt the best racetrack we come to to race. It's an easy track to drive but a great track to race.
"If you look at our stats you'd say yeah (surprised I've never won a pole before at Michigan), but I know why we've struggled here and I know why we haven't been on the pole. My first start ever in a stock car here was in an ARCA car and we qualified second to Shawna Robinson. We've been in the top five many times. We just haven't got a pole, so we'll just keep trying to do our best.
"Kenny Irwin was that way (prolific pole winner). Tracy Hines was that way. Stewart was hit and miss. Tony could lay down a hell of a lap on dirt. I'm not saying he can't lay down a hell of a lap on pavement, but I remember him running a quick time more on dirt than pavement. I always enjoy qualifying, especially at places like Winchester and IRP. We got more poles at Winchester, but I guess I never really looked at it that way back then. I guess the person that really stands out is Kenny Irwin."