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Newman on pole for Bristol night race

Ryan Newman put the Stewart-Haas Racing #39 into pole position for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, narrowly beating Carl Edwards to the top spot.
Ryan Newman continued a big week for Stewart-Haas by claiming pole position for Saturday night's Irwin Tools Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, with a lap time of 15.624s on the 0.533-mile short oval.

"I felt our car was pretty good in race trim," said Newman, who recorded his 48th pole position in 356 starts. "Obviously, it worked good in qualifying trim," he added, before admitting: "it was a good lap but it didn't feel that fast, I will tell you that."

The team was coming off Thursday's news that Danica Patrick will be joining them in Cup competition in select races next year, but the post-Danica boost didn't rub off on team co-owner Tony Stewart who ended up on the back row of the grid with the slowest time of anyone in the session.

"You don't ever want to see the cars that far apart, whether it's the setups or results because of a setup change," said Newman, sharing the team's concern at Stewart's plight. "I'm happy that we've given the #14 the opportunity to look at our notes. We always share information, there's no question about that."

Newman's pole time was just 0.018s ahead of Carl Edwards, who had led both the practice sessions held earlier in the day.

"Ryan did a good job [but] we did everything right today," said Edwards. "I probably could have done a little better job coming to the green. To come off turn four that last time, coming to the white I was a little bit loose and I left my foot in it and almost hit the fence. I figured that was enough. Second place will be a good starting spot."

Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon will start from the second row of the grid, while current man-of-the-moment Brad Keselowski will line up in eighth place behind them.

"That was good," said Kenseth. "We were pretty good in qualifying trim. I wish I had a lap back - the times are so tight here that you always think you can do better. We pretty much got most of it, we were just a little loose."

Cup championship points leader Kyle Busch qualified in 23rd on one of his strongest tracks, just over an hour after he claimed pole for the Nationwide Series race.

JJ Yeley, TJ Bell and Jeff Green failed to qualify for the 43-car field. Bell was earlier involved in a bizarre pit lane accident in the crowded Bristol paddock area, which saw him back over a crewman who was working underneath Bell's Nationwide Series car at the time. The mechanic - car chief Cory Howe - suffered only minor injuries but was airlifted to a nearby medical facility for treatment.

"It's tough from inside the race car to see where your guys are at all times," Bell explained. "The code is when the hood goes down, be ready to start the engine. So they started the engine, they backed me out and I don't think the guy who backed me out had any idea he was under there as well."

Full qualifying and practice times and positions available.



Related Pictures

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Ryan Newman celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the 51st Annual IRWIN Tools Night Race with a lap of 15.624 seconds, 122.811 mph. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, burn out as Crafton celebrates winning the series championship and Wallace celebrates winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane with the trophy, NASCAR President Mike Helton and sportscaster Krista Voda during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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