Ryan Newman continued his display of season-long qualifying dominance by wrapping up his tenth Bud Pole Award of the season at the Phoenix International Raceway on Friday.

With practice pacesetters Brian Vickers and Joe Nemechek hindered by a very early qualifying draw, the way was paved clear for Newman to clinch his second pole position in as many weeks for Roger Penske's #12 ALLTEL Dodge team with a quick lap of 26.931secs around the one-mile dog-leg oval in the desert.

Vickers continued to prove his credentials as a force to be reckoned with in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 by setting second fastest time in the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet despite being only the third car to make a qualifying attempt.

Behind the just turned 20 year-old in third spot on the grid is his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson while Jeff Gordon made it three Hendrick Chevrolets in the top four by becoming the final driver underneath the 27secs bracket with the currently red-hot #24 DuPont team.

Newman's Penske Racing teammate Rusty Wallace was fifth fastest with Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Dave Blaney, Casey Mears and Joe Nemechek rounding out the top ten.

Dale Earnhardt Jr will start 11th, Kevin Harvick 13th although for the fourth time in the last six races, points leader Matt Kenseth had to use a Provisional to get into the field and will start 37th.

Most drivers, most notably Newman, took advantage of the fact that Phoenix's famous encroaching wall coming off turn two has been moved back considerably since last year although for Ward Burton it wasn't moved back far enough as he spun the #0 NetZero Pontiac coming off turn two on his second qualifying lap. Nevertheless Burton's Haas CNC team will repair the primary car and Burton will start 20th in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500.

Two drivers who won't be starting Sunday's race will be Derrike Cope and Brandon Ash, who both failed to make the cut.

 

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