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Newman Secures Coke 600 Pole

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, May 27 2010

Ryan Newman got his first pole of the season on Thursday. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)


Ryan Newman will chase his second victory of the season from the pole position as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver topped qualifying on Thursday for Sunday’s Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newman, who won at Phoenix International Raceway back in April, posted a lap at 187.546 mph.

“It was a great run for the US Army Chevrolet,” Newman said. “That was the most courageous lap I probably could have ever had around here. I told the guys I was going to stick to what I ran in practice and that was the top. I watched what Juan (Pablo Montoya) did. He was up pretty good up off of two all the way down into three and just didn’t get three and four quite right and he was the best car by far in practice. It was a good run for us and we’ll see what we can do in the Coca-Cola 600.

“I thought it was a great lap, you just never know if someone is going to pull one just a little bit better. It was a great effort for everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing and the US Army Chevrolet. It is Memorial Day weekend and there is no better place to start.

“The track just really gripped up. You really have to step it up for qualifying. The track has a good bit more grip in it. You can still over drive it pretty easy. It is a little more forgiving when it has the grip in it.”

The pole was his first of the season but the 46th of his career.

Second fastest in qualifying was Kurt Busch, who won the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte last Saturday, in his Penske Racing Dodge. His top qualifying lap was at 187.292 mph.

Martin Truex Jr. was third fastest while Kasey Kahne was fourth.

“Business is picking up,” Truex, who was impressive in the All-Star Race in his Michael Waltrip Rcing Toyota, said. “The NAPA Toyota is really good here. It was good last week, obviously. It was good to get some momentum through the All-Star race, the Showdown win and all that kind of stuff. The big thing is that these guys are just doing a phenomenal job. Pat (Tryson, crew chief) and all these guys bring me good race cars and we’re really starting to click. I’m starting to have fun again and it’s been cool.”

“That was a good lap,” Kahne, the top Ford drivers, said. “If felt really good. Everything about that felt good actually. I am really happy with the car and the adjustments and where we are at. I am a little surprised it wasn’t faster actually. That will be a good spot.”

Jimmie Johnson, gunning for a fifth straight championship, was fifth.

“I was joking with (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) today before I rolled out ,” Johnson said, “and watched the No. 39 (Newman) and it worked and I said all right buddy, make the call, where do you want me? And the bottom always prevails in most cases; well not today. I took the bottom and the car was good. Maybe a little too loose. But I got a good lap and I’m certainly really proud of that race car behind me and all the hard work that went into it today.”

Points leader Kevin Harvick was 23rd.

Kyle Busch, second in points was ninth.

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, May 27 2010
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