Ryan Newman (39) leads the field into turn one during practice for the Daytona 500. (Photo: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE)
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Indiana-native Ryan Newman earned his 50th
career pole win in the Sprint Cup Series after topping Jimmie Johnson in
Saturday's qualifying for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Newman, who grew up in nearby South Bend, set a new track qualifying record at
Indianapolis with a lap at 187.531 mph. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver was the
last driver to make a qualifying lap in the 45-car field. His 50th pole moved
him into sole possession of ninth on the series' all-time pole winners list.
His last pole victory came in September 2011 at New Hampshire (63 races ago).
Johnson, the 11th driver in the qualifying order, held the provisional pole
with a lap at 187.438 mph until Newman beat him by just 0.024 seconds. The
five-time Sprint Cup champion won the Brickyard 400 for the fourth time last
year. Johnson also won the Daytona 500 earlier this year.
Newman, in his fourth and final year with Tony Stewart's team, has not won a
race in NASCAR's top series since April 2012 at Martinsville. His best finish
at Indianapolis is fourth, which came in his 2002 rookie of the year season.
Carl Edwards qualified third, followed by Denny Hamlin and Stewart, whose
hometown is near this historic 2.5-mile in Columbus, Ind.
Kurt Busch took the sixth spot, while Kasey Kahne placed seventh. Juan Pablo
Montoya, Jeff Gordon and Marcos Ambrose completed the top-10. Gordon also is a
four-time winner of this prestigious race.
The top-nine drivers in qualifying surpassed the previous record of 186.293
mph, set by Casey Mears in 2004.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 15th, and Danica Patrick, competing in her first
Brickyard 400, will roll off 33rd.
Sunday's 400-mile race at Indianapolis is scheduled to start shortly after 1
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