Bristol, TN -- Ryan Newman flew today at the Bristol Motor Speedway and took the pole position for Sunday's race by setting a track record. Newman not only won his ninth career pole, he also became the first Winston Cup driver to turn a lap time...
Bristol, TN -- Ryan Newman flew today at the Bristol Motor Speedway and took the pole position for Sunday's race by setting a track record. Newman not only won his ninth career pole, he also became the first Winston Cup driver to turn a lap time below 15 seconds. It took Newman 14.908 seconds to get around the 0.533-mile racetrack, at a speed of 128.709 mph in the No. 12 Penske Dodge.
"Everything happened just right," said Newman. "I was so surprised with that lap. I knew we had a fast car in practice, but I didn't think we were capable of going that fast, let alone beating Jeff (Gordon). It was just a great team effort. We came back and worked on the car a little bit after practice, but to come back and be that fast is really awesome.
"That's the most amazed I've ever been after a qualifying run to go that fast and not anticipate it. We picked up over a quarter of a second from where we practiced, and that's just unheard of at Bristol. It was a great team effort for the ALLTEL Dodge, and that's really all I can say. I told the guys on the team we all did it today because we had struggled a little bit."
Four-time Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon, who sat on the pole for both of Bristol events last year, will start second.
"That's an unbelievable lap that Ryan put out there," Gordon said. "I don't know how we could have gone much faster, and I certainly don't know how I could have gone fast enough to beat Ryan."
Ken Schrader in the No. 49 BAM Dodge rolls off third; garnering his best starting position this year.
"We needed a decent starting spot a lot more than we needed a pole," said Schrader. "I told the team I could have got another .05, but you'd have to work on the car for me to run an .89. I couldn't do that. Scott Eggleston (crew chief) always runs good here, and he said we'd be good when we unloaded. He (Newman) just had a little more of everything. Our stuff felt good."
Newman's teammate, Rusty Wallace starts fourth followed by Bill Elliott, helping make four of the top-five cars Dodge Intrepids.
Jeff Green and Jamie McMurray both wrecked during their practice sessions and had to unpack the back-up car. Green starts 21st and McMurray 26th.
Championship leader Matt Kenseth had to take a provisional in the No. 17 Roush Ford and starts 37th. Dale Jarrett, Casey Mears, Kenny Wallace, Todd Bodine, Jack Sprague and John Andretti also used provisionals. Hermie Sadler and Larry Foyt failed to make the show.