Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ryan Newman Commands Concrete of Bristol for Cup Pole

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Known for its highly banked turns and concrete surface, Bristol Motor Speedway hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams for the IRWIN Tools Night Race Saturday. With the Chase for the Sprint Cup fast approaching, the Saturday night race at Bristol Motor Speedway's tight short track becomes a serious test for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers needing a strong points showing. 
Besides the potential Chase contenders, all 43 Sprint Cup drivers and team qualifying into the IRWIN Tool Night Race will prepare for 500 laps around a race track that tests physical as well as mental states. The 0.533-mile short-track supplies an exciting combination of speeds and tight quarters which has allowed the Bristol Motor Speedway to become a top attraction on the NASCAR circuit.

In qualifying for the 250-lap IRWIN Tools Night Race on Saturday night, the #39 Chevrolet of Ryan Newman scored the top spot ahead of the Roush-Fenway Racing Ford Fusions. Newman's 48th career pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, the Stewart/Haas Racing driver starts from the pole position for a 2nd time in 2011. Fortunately for Ryan Newman, his last pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway concluded with victory. Ryan Newman heads into the Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race with the motivation of a victory gained in a Whelen modified race on the Bristol Motor Speedway track Wednesday.

Second fastest in qualifying was the #99 Ford of Carl Edwards followed by Roush-Fenway teammate Matt Kenseth. Contending for the top spot entering the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Edwards enters Bristol after a costly 36th place finish following the past Michigan event. Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin (two Hendrick Motorsports vehicles) have qualified 4th and 5th for the Saturday night event.

While Ryan Newman took Stewart/Haas Racing to the highest of highs in the Friday time trial, the driver/owner behind the wheel of the #14 Chevy ended up far away from the pole-winning #39 race car. Tony Stewart will start 42nd after an off-pace qualifying effort. Winning once on the Bristol Motor Speedway in 2001, Stewart's last two Cup efforts on the 0.533 short track resulted in 19th and 27th place finishes.

The IRWIN Tools Night Race will start 7:30 PM Saturday for 500 laps around the Bristol Motor Speedway. Weather forecast indicate conditions should be hot but dry. 

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup
IRWIN Tools Night Race
Bristol Motor Speedway
Starting Lineup

  1. 39 Ryan Newman Bass Pro Shops/Realtree Chevrolet
  2. 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Dental Ford
  3. 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Ford
  4. 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
  5. 5 Mark Martin Farmers Insurance/ Chevrolet
  6. 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops/Realtree Chevrolet
  7. 27 Paul Menard Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet
  8. 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge
  9. 20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota
  10. 22 Kurt Busch Shell/Pennzoil Dodge
  11. 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford
  12. 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet
  13. 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet
  14. 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford
  15. 29 Kevin Harvick Realtree/Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet
  16. 33 Clint Bowyer Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
  17. 34 David Gilliland Thanks Bristol Fans Ford
  18. 43 A J Allmendinger Best Buy Ford
  19. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
  20. 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota
  21. 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet
  22. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMPEnergy/Bristol50thAnny/NtnlGrd Chev
  23. 18 Kyle Busch Doublemint Toyota
  24. 6 David Ragan UPS Ford
  25. 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota
  26. 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota
  27. 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
  28. 87 Joe Nemechek AM/FM Energy Pellet Wood Stoves Toyota
  29. 13 Casey Mears GEICO Toyota
  30. 47 Bobby Labonte Bush's Baked Beans Toyota
  31. 30 David Stremme Echostar Technologies Chevrolet
  32. 66 Michael McDowell HP Racing Toyota
  33. 38 Travis Kvapil Long John Silver's Ford
  34. 0 David Reutimann Aaron's Freedom Ride Dream Machine Toyota
  35. 36 Dave Blaney Golden Corral Chevrolet
  36. 46 Scott Speed Green Stuff Ford
  37. 95 David Starr Advocare Ford
  38. 71 Andy Lally Interstate Moving Services Ford
  39. 7 Robby Gordon SPEED Energy Dodge
  40. 51 Mike Bliss PhoenixCnstrctn/ThnkATchrToday Chev
  41. 32 Terry Labonte C&J Energy Ford
  42. 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Office Depot Chevrolet
  43. 60 Mike Skinner Big Red Toyota

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