Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ryan Newman won the Coors Light Pole Award Friday afternoon for Sunday’s Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Newman posted a lap of 27.904 seconds at 136.497 mph, breaking the old track qualifying record of 135.922 mph set by Brad Keselowski on July 14, 2013.
Newman will start from the front row beside Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne.
“This track is the birthplace of track position and qualifying great with our Quicken Loans Chevrolet is extremely important,” said Newman, who won from the pole at New Hampshire in July 2011. “Last time we were on the pole here, we led a lot of laps and we won. I’m hoping we can duplicate that again and ‘Bring it Home’ for Quicken Loans.”
Newman is one of thirteen drivers competing for a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship which is decided during the last 10 races of the season. Nine races, including Sunday’s Sylvania 300, remain and Newman is currently eighth in the standings.
Newman, who will leave SHR after this season to drive for Richard Childress Racing, gained his spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship field after the governing organization penalized Michael Waltrip Racing for actions at Richmond International Speedway, dropping MWR driver Martin Truex Jr. out of the field.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 21st after clocking in at 28.383 seconds at 134.193 mph.
“The times are always so close, especially at a small track like this,” said Patrick, who will make her 38th career Sprint Cup start Sunday and her second at New Hampshire. “The GoDaddy Chevy rotated really nice on throttle – too well on the first lap, which is why it was slower. Regardless, it was a nice pick-up for us (from practice) and it will us give a decent place to work from on Sunday.”
SHR driver/owner Tony Stewart is sidelined with a broken leg but substitute driver Mark Martin qualified 18th with a time of 28.335 seconds at 134.420 mph.
“The guys did a good job of improving the Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet from practice to qualifying,” said Martin, who won at New Hampshire on Sept. 20, 2009. “I wish I would’ve gotten just a little bit better lap on that second lap. It was good, but I could’ve gotten off of (turn) four a little bit better. I was in a pretty big hurry and I hurried the car to the throttle, so it got a little tight off (the corner), but definitely a good pick-up from practice.”