NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Sprint Cup Qualifying Recap – Irwin Tools Night Race

Ryan Newman has long been known for winning pole positions but it has been a less frequent occurrence over the last few years. Friday afternoon he was able to get the job done again, laying down a lap of 15.624 seconds for a speed of 122.811 mph. Starting next to Newman on the front row will be Carl Edwards who was the last car out during qualifying. Edwards came up 18 thousandths of a second short with a lap of 15.642 seconds and a speed of 122.670 mph. Edwards teammate Matt Kenseth was the third fastest by one thousandth of a second with a speed of 122.662 mph. Outside of the second row will be Jeff Gordon who clocked a lap of 15.654 seconds and a speed of 122.576 mph.

The pole is Newman’s 48th pole win in 356 Sprint Cup races. He is 10th on the all-time pole winners’ list. It is Newman’s second pole of the season having won the pole at New Hampshire earlier this year. Newman went on to win the race at Loudon after he won that pole position.

Carl Edwards on his qualifying effort – “At least I will be on the front row. I won’t get anything in my teeth up there on the Aflac Dental car on the first lap at least. Ryan did a good job and we did everything right today. I probably could have done a little better job coming to the green. To come off turn four that last time, coming to the white I was a little bit loose and I left my foot in it and almost hit the fence. I figured that was enough. Second place will be a good starting spot. Hopefully we can get a victory for Aflac.”

Matt Kenseth on another good qualifying run – “That was good. We were pretty good in qualifying trim. I wish I had a lap back. The times are so tight here that you always think you can do better. We pretty much got most of it, we were just a little loose.”

Ryan Newman joked about not winning as many poles as he used to. – “I spent so much time trying to win a race without winning a pole because you guys (media) criticized me for so long for winning poles without winning races. Now, after Loudon, I just figured if it works once, we’ll just keep trying to do that. So, just doing the stats, man. I’m a mathematician. Actually I was sitting out on the grid trying to figure out where I was going to hang my tree stands this year instead of focusing on the qualifying laps and evidently that is the secret.”

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