Newman edges teammate Stewart for New Hampshire pole

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.

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.

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 Busch's Penske Racing teammate, Brad Keselowski (134.150 mph). Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne will start from positions six 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."

Series points leader Kyle Busch qualified 19th. Tony Raines, Scott Riggs and Dennis Setzer failed to make the 43-car field.

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