Newman Pole Man At Lowes

CONCORD, N.C. - Ryan Newman took a step toward righting his ship Friday afternoon as he drove his ALLTEL Dodge to the pole in the rain-delayed qualifying session for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway with a lap of 185.312 mph.

Newman scored his second Coca-Cola 600 pole in the last three years. Friday's run was also the young driver's tenth career Bud Pole.

"Buddy Baker was the first guy to ever take me around this race track," said Newman. "I looked at him after two laps and told him I was going to like it. I have ever since. Obviously it takes a great team and great engines and everything else to go with it, but obviously I enjoy this race track. I enjoy qualifying. Today was our day to be on top I guess.

"I was real happy with our first run and second run, but our third run on new tires today wasn't what I thought it was going to be. That threw me off a little bit. I didn't know what to expect in qualifying after running a .66 and 29.50 in practice on new tires after (Jimmie) Johnson ran his .08. I'm like, 'man, we're four tenths off.' That on top of the fact that Busch practice had the wreck and a bunch of oil off turn four. It was like we weren't real confident after practice, plus we had a bunch of oil on the race track. We unloaded fast and we put the car back to where we unloaded before qualifying and that was what we needed.

Elliott Sadler put his Robert Yates Racing Ford outside the front row with a lap of 184.300 mph. Mike Skinner, Jeff Gordon and the surprising Jack Sprague rounded out the Top 5.

Tony Stewart, Joe Nemechek, Dave Blaney, Michael Waltrip and Johnny Benson completed the first ten qualifiers.

A total of 46 drivers tried to make Sunday's 43-car starting field. Hermie Sadler, Brett Bodine and Derrike Cope did not make the race.

Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 will take the green flag at 5:30 p.m. (ET) with live television coverage from FOX.

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