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Tony Stewart Blasts Way To The Pole At Texas

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 16 2010

Tony Stewart won his first Sprint Cup pole since 2005 on Friday. (RacinToday file photo by Tony Bush)

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer

Fort Worth, Texas – Tony Stewart broke a 155-race qualifying losing streak on Friday by capturing the top starting position for Sunday’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

It was Stewart’s first pole position since he turned the fastest qualifying lap at Martinsville Speedway in October 2005.

It was the 11th career pole position for Stewart, who will be making his 400th career Sprint Cup start this weekend.

“I’m not normally a very good qualifying so that is a great great run for our Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy,” Stewart said. “I want to thank Hendrick chassis and engines.”

Ryan Newman, Stewart’s employee/teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing and who won last weekend’s race in Phoenix, qualified 10th fastest.

“This one is for everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing,” Stewart said. “They have really been working hard. Last weekend was a good weekend for us as an organization. I am really proud of what they are doing, so thank you guys.”

Newman said, “We’re real close now to where we were at in Atlanta (performance wise and handling) even though we have the spoiler now,” Hornish said. “I was real happy with our car at Atlanta. If we have a car here that runs anything like what we did at Atlanta and starting where we are this weekend, we’re going to lead some laps. So, I’m looking forward to Sunday for sure.”

Greg Biffle of Roush Fenway Racing will start third.

Jimmie Johnson, the four-time series champion and the current points leader in 2010, will start fourth in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

“Very good performance for us,” Johnson said. “Felt like I could have gone a little faster. We worked on some things. The car was dragging the track in practice. I was trying to find that balance of really pushing hard, but then not screwing up a respectable lap. There was more out there. Real pleased with the lap, we were fast in practice and backed it up in qualifying.”

Kasey Kahne, who announced this week that he will leave Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the season and got to work for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, was fifth.

“We had a couple things that you just kind of learn over the years what the car is doing and I felt like the guys jumped on that stuff,” Kahne said. “What I fought there was hardly anything, it was actually really good and I just slid around a little bit. That was a pretty solid lap. We have a great team and it should be pretty fun on Sunday. It’s a good track for us and I think we should run strong. We’ve qualified well.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 16 2010
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