Newman back on the pole at The Rock

Newman back on the pole at The Rock

Ryan Newman is at it again. After racking up a series-high 11 poles in 2003, Newman claimed the top spot for Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway after posting a 156.475 miles per hour qualifying lap. Pole winner Ryan ...

Ryan Newman is at it again. After racking up a series-high 11 poles in 2003, Newman claimed the top spot for Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway after posting a 156.475 miles per hour qualifying lap.

Pole winner Ryan Newman.
Photo by Dan Hamilton/Vantage Point.
It's the 19th series pole for the third-year driver, and his third at the 1.017-mile speedway, known as "The Rock".

"It feels good to be back here," Newman reflected after his qualifying run. "I found my line and hit my marks. I was in the right places at the right times with the way the car was set up."

The Dodges of Newman, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne and Rusty Wallace had the top four times. Jeff Gordon, in a Chevy, will start fifth.

"Our Dodges just seem to run good here," said Jeremy Mayfield, who was third fastest behind Newman and Kahne in practice earlier in the day, and qualified sixth. "Everybody is working good together, and that makes a big difference."

Newman is coming off a fifth place finish at North Carolina Speedway in November. It was his first top-10 in four starts at Rockingham.

"We tested here and learned a few things," explained Newman. "You come here and test and maybe trick yourself sometime of how good or bad you might be. We just look forward to taking the things we learned in the test and apply them in the race on Sunday."

Dale Jarrett, the top Ford in qualifying, equaled his ninth place effort from one year ago when he claimed his only win of the season.

"A repeat performance would be nice," commented Jarrett, who finished 26th in the point standings last year. "It's been a good day for us and hopefully that will translate into a good day on Sunday."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sixth fastest in practice and qualified seventh. He has the points lead after winning the season-opener at Daytona last Sunday.

"I might have been able to get us a shot at the pole there," Earnhardt said. "I missed the entry on Turn 3 and that's kind of why I botched it there and lost a little bit of time. But we have a good car that will hopefully be just as good on Sunday."

Sunday's race is scheduled to start at 1:00 pm EST on Fox.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Ryan Newman , Jamie McMurray , Kasey Kahne