Newman Takes Provisional

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Ryan Newman has had plenty of speed at NASCAR’s superspeedways this season, so posting the 41st-fastest time in Friday’s qualifying for the Pepsi 400 was a bit of a mystery.

Newman took a provisional and will start 39th in Saturday night’s 400-mile, 160-lap race. It’s only the second time this season the ALLTEL Ford driver needed a provisional to start a race.

But Newman might take some solace in the last time he had to take a provisional. It was at Dover, where he rallied to finish fourth.

Newman started 23rd and finished seventh in the Daytona 500, and then qualified eighth at Talladega, led some laps but blew an engine. So he’s had lots of speed on the big tracks – until Daytona.

“Overall, we’re just searching for speed, trying to get the car to travel down and go down the straightaways,” Newman said. “Hopefully we’ll learn something in the draft that will make us more of a competitor than just in qualifying.”

Newman wasn’t sure what happened to the speed from Daytona and Talladega.

“We lost an advantage that we had after Talladega that we shouldn’t have lost,” Newman said. “We’re just trying to search for speed.”

Kevin Harvick won the pole for Saturday’s race. The Pepsi 400 gets the green flag at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

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