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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]
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Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Cameron Hayley, driver of the #13 Cabinets by Hayley/The Carolina Nut Co. Toyota, races with Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota Toyota, during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Alex Tagliani, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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