News & Media

Newman edges Stewart for New Hampshire pole

July 15, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service,

Twelve drivers break the track record as Stewart-Haas earns its first all-front row

LOUDON, N.H. -- If the Sprint Cup Series is in New Hampshire, it's not difficult to guess who might be on the pole for Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301.

With a track-record run at 135.232 mph (28.165 seconds) Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ryan Newman claimed his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his fifth at New Hampshire and the 47th of his career.

New Hampshire

2.T. Stewart 135.064 28.200
3.D. Reutimann 134.763 28.263
4.Ku. Busch 134.34028.352
5.Keselowski 134.150 28.392

* Out Front with Miss Coors Light: Rachel with Ryan

Newman beat teammate and Stewart-Haas Racing car owner Tony Stewart, who covered the 1.058-mile distance in 28.200 seconds (135.064 mph), as 12 drivers broke the track record of 133.572 mph (28.515 seconds) set last year by Brad Keselowski.

David Reutimann (134.763 mph), fresh from a second-place run at Kentucky, will start third, followed by Kurt Busch (134.340 mph) and Penske Racing teammate Keselowski (134.150 mph). Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Juan Montoya, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne will start from positions 6 through 10, respectively.

Sunday's race will be the first time two Stewart-Haas cars will start together on the front row.

"Reutimann clipped off a lap that I didn't think could be beat," Newman said. "But I'm just proud of the U.S. Army team and everybody at Stewart-Haas to get our first front row together, first of all, but for us to be the winning car and have a good start for the entire weekend.

"The car felt good in practice. The lap itself was nice and smooth. I wouldn't say it was perfect, but it was good enough, and if we can make that a little bit better for Sunday, we'll be in really good shape."

Despite his recent strong result -- second last week at Kentucky -- Reutimann cautioned that it's too early to say his No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing team has gained momentum.

"We're certainly, finally running like we're supposed to, but I don't know if you'd call it a 'roll,' " Reutimann said. "But it's certainly better than it has been. Just because you qualify up front doesn't mean that you're going to stay there, but it certainly does get your weekend off to a good start."

Stewart credited a new tire compound provided by Goodyear for the record qualifying speeds.

"It's just a grippier tire," Stewart said. "What we've fought here in the past is a tire that normally would chatter for two or three laps until it got some temperature in it and [got] some bite. This tire just seemed to take off better.

"Obviously, for qualifying, when you've only got two laps to do it, it's faster because it takes off right away."


• Ryan Newman scored his 47th pole in his 351st start; he's tied with Junior Johnson for 10th all time.
• Ryan Newman scored his fifth pole at NHMS, most of all time; it's his third track with five or more poles: Charlotte (9), Atlanta (7).
• Ryan Newman won form the pole at NHMS in September 2002; it was his first Cup win.
• Ryan Newman scored his first pole of 2011, ending his longest streak without a pole: 41 races (Charlotte in May 2010).
• Ryan Newman set a track record of 28.165 seconds (135.232 mph); it's the fourth track record set in 2011.
• Ryan Newman was the last of 13 drivers to hold the pole position; the top 12 drivers all broke the old track record.
• Ryan Newman was third-fastest in practice with a time of 28.471 seconds (133.778 mph).
• Tony Stewart (second) posted his best start of the season; his previous best was fifth at Fontana.
• Stewart-Haas Racing scored its sixth pole (four by Ryan Newman) and posted its first 1-2 start.
• David Reutimann (third) posted his third consecutive top-10 start at NHMS and his best start there in his ninth race.
• Kurt Busch (fourth) earned a top-four starting spot for the fourth time in the past five races at NHMS.
• Brad Keselowski (fifth) earned a top-five starting spot for the second time in his fifth race at NHMS.
• Jeff Burton (sixth) posted his third top-10 start of 2011; four NSCS wins lead all drivers.
• Three drivers failed to make the race: Tony Raines, Scott Riggs, Dennis Setzer.

Series points leader Kyle Busch qualified 19th.