Newman lands on the pole at Rockingham

Rookie Ryan Newman wasted no time today at North Carolina Speedway to lay down a lap and take his fifth Bud Pole of the season. In just his second year in the Winston Cup Series, the young rookie now holds the most pole awards and sits fourth in...

Rookie Ryan Newman wasted no time today at North Carolina Speedway to lay down a lap and take his fifth Bud Pole of the season. In just his second year in the Winston Cup Series, the young rookie now holds the most pole awards and sits fourth in the points.

I really like this race track," said Newman. "It's a lot fun. It's a driver's race track. This isn't a track you talk about single grooves at. Here, we talk about three and four lanes of racing."

Newman put his Ford Taurus on the pole with a time of 23.494 (155.835 mph), just 0.197 seconds over Jamie McMurray (sitting in for Sterling Marlin). McMurray would have made history for the second time this year had he been able to secure the pole in his first qualifying attempt in Winston Cup. In his previous starts, qualifying was rained-out.

At Lowe's Motor Speedway in only McMurray's second start in Winston Cup, he took the checker flag for the win.

"I told the team if we were in the top ten at the end of qualifying I'd be happy," said McMurray. "My Busch car has been helping me out a lot because of all the track time I'm getting in both cars. That's really been the key to my consistency."

Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner and Mark Martin round out the top five while points leader starts back in the 25th spot. Newman's main contender for the Rookie of the Year, Jimmie Johnson also had a dismal qualifying run and will have to make up ground from the 31st position.

Not faring well today at 'The Rock' were other top drivers: Dale Jarrett had to take a provisional along with Terry Labonte, Bobby Hamilton, Steve Park, Michael Wallace, Casey Atwood, and Brett Bodine.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brett Bodine , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Terry Labonte , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Sterling Marlin , Ryan Newman , Casey Atwood , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Mark Martin