Ryan Newman Wins Pole at New Hampshire Despite Rain Delay – Starting Lineup

September 23, 2011 No Comments

Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Ryan Newman won the pole for Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, turning a lap of 135.002 mph to capture his 49th career pole in a very unusual qualifying session.

“I don’t think I have seen that much drama go into the last five cars in qualifying in my ten or eleven years experience,” said Newman. “Just to have the little situation we did with the rain, the drizzle. It is a tough situation.”

With five drivers to go, a slight rain shower interrupted Friday’s session. Juan Pablo Montoya was the next driver to qualify but declined to go, offering the next driver in line, Jimmie Johnson the chance to qualify. Johnson declined, saying it was Montoya’s turn.

After jet driers made their laps and as rain diminished, for the most part, Montoya attempted his two qualifying laps but it didn’t go as planned.

“They (NASCAR) know the track is in bad condition,” said Montoya in an interview with ESPN. “We got a car that’s fast enough to be on the pole, and we’re 27th. It’s a freaking joke!”

A very unhappy Montoya will start 31st on Sunday.

Johnson pulled off pit lane next but immediately returned before recording a lap time. Johnson waited for the light sprinkle to stop before attempting his qualifying laps. The five-time champion eventually qualified seventh, but was pushed back to tenth as Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman all ran faster laps.

“I don’t think it’s ideal circumstances for anyone, but I think NASCAR did their best job to give us drivers what we were looking for in a dry race track,” said Johnson. “It’s still slick. That’s just kind of how it is. But the effort was made.

“And although I hate that my car was that sideways, I really appreciate their effort to make sure the track was dry and giving us a good race track to go out and drive on.”

Gordon fared slightly better than his Hendrick teammate, qualifying seventh. Kahne knocked his Red Bull teammate Brian Vickers off of the provisional pole but was immediately bested by Newman.

Following Newman and the Red Bull Racing teammates was Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch. Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top 10.

Here is the starting lineup for Sunday’s Sylvania 300:
1. Ryan Newman
2. Kasey Kahne
3. Brian Vickers
4. Greg Biffle
5. Kurt Busch
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Jeff Gordon
8. Kyle Busch
9. Martin Truex Jr.
10. Jimmie Johnson
11. Clint Bowyer
12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
13. A.J. Allmendinger
14. Paul Menard
15. Bobby Labonte
16. Brad Keselowski
17. Regan Smith
18. Jeff Burton
19. David Reutimann
20. Tony Stewart
21. Mark Martin
22. Dave Blaney
23. Carl Edwards
24. Joey Logano
25. Jamie McMurray
26. David Ragan
27. Matt Kenseth
28. Denny Hamlin
29. Marcos Ambrose
30. Landon Cassill
31. Juan Pablo Montoya
32. J.J. Yeley
33. David Gilliland
34. David Stremme
35. Michael McDowell
36. Robby Gordon
37. Casey Mears
38. Travis Kvapil
39. Joe Nemechek
40. Mike Bliss
41. Josh Wise
42. Andy Lally
43. Scott Speed

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