Ryan Newman gets his fifth pole of year,

Ryan Newman was up to his old tricks Friday at Pocono Raceway. Newman ran a lap at 170.358 mph to win the pole for Sunday's Pennsylvania 500, his fifth Winston Cup pole of the season.

While Friday's effort was also Newman's 12th top-five qualifying run of the season, it did end a mini-drought for the 25-year-old driver from South Bend, Ind.

After qualifying eighth or better in every race from Las Vegas to Michigan, a string of 13 races, Newman had qualified 13th, 24th and 14th in his past three efforts. He started 16th a week ago at New Hampshire after qualifying was rained out.

"I said earlier in the year that if these guys gave me a good arrow I would try to shoot it straight," Newman said in praising his Penske South team for the No. 12 Dodge it put under him. "That wasn't the best lap like I wanted to run, but we got it pretty close. That's a pretty good start for the weekend and boost of morale for the team."

Newman started second when the Winston Cup circuit raced here in June behind only Jimmie Johnson, and this time that pair - the winners of the circuit's two most recent races - will swap front-row positions for the green flag.

Johnson, last week's winner at New Hampshire, ran 169.821 mph this time to earn the outside spot on Row 1 beside Newman, who won at Chicagoland two weeks ago.

There also was something of a return to form for another team on a warm, sunny day in the Pocono Mountains - Robert Yates Racing.

Elliott Sadler was third fastest at 169.246 mph and teammate Dale Jarrett was eighth at 168.631 mph. It was an especially encouraging result for Jarrett's team, which has been mired in a struggle for much of the year.

"That's certainly a step in the right direction," said Jarrett, whose only top-15 qualifying effort since his win at Rockingham in the season's second race had come here in June. Jarrett started seventh that day and finished 42nd after a vicious crash on Lap 54.

Jarrett said his team benefited from a change in rear shock absorbers that Sadler's team made on the No. 38 Ford after a rough morning in practice.

"We had one of the worst hour and half worth of practice you could ever have," Sadler said. "But we made some changes at the end and learned some things. The guys did a great job."

Bobby Laborite's team also made wholesale changes on the No. 18 Chevrolet after the morning practice, and they also paid off. Labonte ran 168.932 mph to earn the outside spot on Row 2.

John Andretti, making just his second start at driver of the No. 0 Pontiac, helped that team match its best qualifying effort of the season with a lap at 168.925 mph that puts him fifth on the starting grid. The team also started fifth with Jack Sprague driving in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.

Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace, Jarrett, points leader Matt Kenseth and rookie Casey Mears rounded out the top 10.

Ricky Rudd, for whom Sunday's race will be his 700th consecutive Winston Cup start, ran 167.367 mph and will start 27th. Tony Stewart, who won here in June, starts 33rd.

See Full Line up below

 

1. (12) Ryan Newman, Dodge, 170.358 mph.

2. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 169.821.

3. (38) Elliott Sadler, Ford, 169.246.

4. (18) Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet, 168.932.

5. (0) John Andretti, Dodge, 168.925.

6. (5) Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 168.757

7. (2) Rusty Wallace, Dodge, 168.710.

8. (88) Dale Jarrett, Ford, 168.631.

9. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 168.530.

10. (41) Casey Mears, Dodge, 168.397.

11. (9) Bill Elliott, Dodge, 168.294.

12. (42) Jamie McMurray, Dodge, 168.290

13. (97) Kurt Busch, Ford, 168.124.

14. (6) Mark Martin, Ford, 168.080.

15. (19) Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge, 168.080.

16. (30) Steve Park, Chevrolet, 167.976.

17. (15) Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 167.948.

18. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 167.785.

19. (99) Jeff Burton, Ford, 167.704.

20. (40) Sterling Marlin, Dodge, 167.670.

21. (7) Jimmy Spencer, Dodge, 167.626.

22. (77) Dave Blaney, Ford, 167.616.

23. (54) Todd Bodine, Ford, 167.563.

24. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 167.454.

25. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 167.448.

26. (25) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 167.380.

27. (21) Ricky Rudd, Ford, 167.367.

28. (23) Kenny Wallace, Dodge, 167.280.

29. (10) Johnny Benson, Pontiac, 167.249.

30. (74) Tony Raines, Chevrolet, 167.069.

31. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 167.063.

32. (32) Ricky Craven, Pontiac, 167.056.

33. (20) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 166.926.

34. (49) Ken Schrader, Dodge, 166.543.

35. (45) Kyle Petty, Dodge, 166.586.

36. (43) Christian Fittipaldi, Dodge, 166.432.

37. (31) Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, provisional.

38. (22) Ward Burton, Dodge, provisional.

39. (1) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, provisional.

40. (01) Mike Wallace, Pontiac, provisional.

41. (37) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, provisional.

42. (89) Morgan Shepherd, Ford, provisional.

43. (50) Larry Foyt, Dodge, provisional.

Other speeds: (22) Ward Burton, Dodge, 166.405; (1) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, 166.033; (31) Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, 165.951; (4) Brett Bodine, Pontiac, 165.825; (50) Larry Foyt, Dodge, 165.235; (01) Mike Wallace, Pontiac, 164.959; (37) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 163.218; (89) Morgan Shepherd, Ford, 161.859.

 


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