Newman wins third 2004 pole

For the third time this year, Ryan Newman will lead the field to the green flag. Newman, who earned a series-high 11 poles last season, landed in the top spot pacing the field with a lap of 128.313 mph. "We set the bar I guess you can say,"...

For the third time this year, Ryan Newman will lead the field to the green flag. Newman, who earned a series-high 11 poles last season, landed in the top spot pacing the field with a lap of 128.313 mph.

"We set the bar I guess you can say," said Newman. "We look forward to being competitive in qualifying and competitive in the race."

It is Newman's 21st career pole award.

"Practice will be very important," Newman continued. "It's no different than any other place, but the speeds here are so close from first to last. It's pretty tight."

"You can loose patience real easy," said Newman of racing at Bristol. "It's equally as important to have patience when you don't have a car that is handling. It's real easy to get spun out here."

Jeff Gordon's lap of 128.288 mph secured the outside pole for the No. 24 Chevy. It's a welcome relief for Gordon who had a horrible week at Darlington. Gordon was caught up in an incident with Andy Hillenburg that took him out of the event early and cost Team 24 valuable championship points.

"Your mind set changes a lot once you get on the racetrack," said Gordon. "You're mind is set to get the pole and not even think about last week. Ryan out a heck of a number up there and I knew we were really going to have to work hard to try and beat it. For things to go well for us today, it's great."

"You can't help but be excited to be here, especially when you are running well."

Busch event pole-sitter Greg Biffle qualified third, charting a lap of 128.176 mph.

"It's really important to be up front here," said Biffle. "It's a big factor in pit selection for Sunday. I'm excited. These guys have given me a really, really good car to come here. Our season has really turned around. We've had some really good runs and I'm really excited about it."

Newman's teammate Rusty Wallace starts fourth with a lap of 128.074 mph.

"That was a good lap," said Wallace. "It's the first time I've run under 15 seconds here. We had a real good test, and we've got three Penske Dodges in the top 10, we'll all have a good day Sunday."

Kasey Kahne completes the top five with a lap of 127.860 mph. Kahne is the highest starting Raybestos rookie of the year candidate.

Qualifying was slowed three times for accidents during time trial laps. Kirk Shelmerdine, Ward Burton and Derrike Cope all smacked the wall during their qualifying efforts.

Forty-four cars attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field. Failing to make the show was the No. 89 Dodge of Morgan Shepard.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Derrike Cope , Jeff Gordon , Rusty Wallace , Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Andy Hillenburg , Kirk Shelmerdine , Kasey Kahne