Ranks seventh in points
Newman grabs pole in Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. - Stewart-Haas Racing had an interesting day at Bristol Motor Speedway, where teammates Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart were on opposite ends of the speed chart.
Newman won the pole for tonight’s Sprint Cup Series race but Stewart, who is clinging to a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, posted the slowest speed in the qualifying session.
“It wasn’t a good day for [Stewart], obviously you saw that in qualifying,’’ Newman said. “I think it’s just one of those deals where you spend a little time overnight regrouping.
“We don’t ever want to see the cars that far apart, whether it’s the setup or the results because of a setup change. But I’m happy that we’ve given [Stewart] an opportunity to look at our notes.’’
Stewart certainly needs all the help he can get right now.
Although he’s 10th in the Sprint Cup standings, the two-time series champion is winless this season and could get knocked out of a spot in the Chase with a bad finish in any of the next three races.
Newman, meanwhile, is ranked seventh in points with a win this season.
“If we knew what the problem was, we would fix it,’’ said Stewart, who will start 42d in the 43-car field. “It could turn around in a week; it may not turn around the rest of the year.’’
Newman, meanwhile, turned a lap at 122.811 miles per hour to win his second pole of the season and 48th of his career. He ranks 10th on the all-time pole-winners list.
His lap marked a frantic final few minutes of qualifying. Jeff Gordon bumped Jamie McMurray for the pole, then Newman bumped Gordon.
Newman then had to watch late efforts from Roush Fenway Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.
Kenseth put up a lap at 122.662 m.p.h., then joined Newman on pit road to watch Edwards post a lap at 122.670 m.p.h. to qualify second, bumping Kenseth to third.
Kyle Busch edged Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano at Bristol last night to become the all-time winningest driver in the Nationwide Series.
The win was the 50th of Busch’s career in NASCAR’s second-tier series and broke a tie the 26-year-old had with Mark Martin. Busch has 102 total wins in NASCAR’s top three divisions.
“It’s awesome. Just phenomenal to come at one of my favorite places and one of the team’s favorite places,’’ said Busch, whose .019-second margin of victory was the closest in series history at Bristol.