Newman uses hot shoe to grab Loudon pole

Newman uses hot shoe to grab Loudon pole

Ryan Newman went out dead last -- and proved that he still has the hottest shoe in the garage. Newman's lap of 132.360 mph bested the field by nearly a mile-per-hour, and booted Jimmie Johnson off the pole; who had sat on top of the charts for...

Ryan Newman went out dead last -- and proved that he still has the hottest shoe in the garage. Newman's lap of 132.360 mph bested the field by nearly a mile-per-hour, and booted Jimmie Johnson off the pole; who had sat on top of the charts for most of the time trial session.

Ryan Newman.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
"We knew we had the potential to do it," said Newman. "It was just a matter of getting it done. I'm happy to do it for the guys. They put a lot of work into what we did here today. The one-day test helped us out a good bit."

"I've got the opportunity now to lead a lap," Newman commented. "Make good pit selection and all the other good things that come along with the pole."

Newman backed up what the No. 12 Penske Dodge did all afternoon, having also been fastest in practice. It is Newman's fourth pole of the season and 22nd of his career.

"We knew we had a fast race car from practice," Newman commented. "We were able to maintain that and get the pole. We have to get it to handle well, like we did today, and not get shuffled back. Track position is critical here; if you get shuffled back it's hard to catch up.

"We just want to get it right in happy hour tomorrow and have a good race on Sunday."

Jimmie Johnson had to settle for his second; with a lap of 131.984 mph. Although a pole would have helped further Johnson's domination at New Hampshire International Speedway, last season he won both events at the 1- mile track, the outside pole is still a great effort for the No. 48 Hendrick Chevy team.

"I was really excited and happy with that lap we made," said Johnson. "I thought it was strong enough for the pole. But I knew that Ryan Newman had come up here and tested and he would be real hard to beat.

"He got me back. I was the last car to go at Lowe's Motor Speedway and I knocked him off the pole. So, it's a payback for him to go out last and knock me off the pole."

Martin Truex, Jr. sitting in for an injured Dale Earnhardt, Jr. placed the No. 8 DEI Chevy in third spot for his first NEXTEL Cup series qualifying effort. Truex will assume driving duties of the No. 8 car after Earnhardt makes the necessary laps for driver points to reflect upon him. Currently, Earnhardt needs to make two laps before Truex can jump into the car.

"Obviously, I am real excited to have this opportunity," commented Truex, who posted a lap of 131.660 mph. "I'm real thankful ad proud that they picked me to do this, but this isn't the way we'd like to get our first NEXTEL Cup start.

"I was real happy with that lap. It was unfortunate that Dale Jr. couldn't qualify the car. We learned a lot so far, and I can tell now why they are so good every week. I just want to go out there and try and run the best that we can."

Michael Waltrip's lap of 131.488 mph earned him and the No. 15 DEI Chevy team the fourth starting spot.

"What can I say," said Waltrip. "This team works so hard, and the effort is starting to pay off. Great starting place for us, and hopefully we can get a good finish."

Busch series pole sitter, Jamie McMurray, didn't quite have enough steam to sit on the pole, but his lap of 131.442 mph was good enough for fifth.

"I thought we had a shot at the pole," said McMurray. "I thought we could run what Jimmie (Johnson) did, but for some reason all those other guys picked up on their second lap and we just couldn't pick it up on the second lap."

Four-time Winston Cup champion, Jeff Gordon, failed to earn his fifth consecutive pole of the season. Gordon was attempting to tie the record with Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison. Gordon qualified a disappointing 24th.

Forty-six cars attempted to qualify for the forty three car field. Failing to make the show were Kyle Busch, who wrecked during his time trial lap; Ryan McGlynn, who failed to make an attempt during time trials; and Kevin Lepage, who was too slow and did not have a provisional start.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Ryan McGlynn , Martin Truex Jr. , Bobby Allison , Eric Gilbert , Cale Yarborough , Kyle Busch