Ryan Newman claimed his first pole in nearly two years in qualifying for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.
Newman, who recently learned that he would lose his Stewart-Haas seat at the end of 2013, was the final driver to qualify. His lap of 47.992 seconds and 187.531mph squeezed him ahead of four-time Brickyard 400 winner and dominant championship leader Jimmie Johnson by 0.024sec. Carl Edwards was only 0.096sec off pole in third place.
Newman had not taken pole since the September 2011 New Hampshire Motor Speedway round, while the result marked the first SHR pole since Danica Patrick led the Daytona 500 grid five months ago.
Denny Hamlin was top Toyota in fourth, followed by Newman’s teammate and boss Tony Stewart, and final practice pacesetter Kurt Busch. Kasey Kahne and Juan Pablo Montoya had both looked strong on Friday and will share row four.
A 45-car entry meant the possibility of non-qualification for the first time since Charlotte in late May. Mike Bliss and Scott Speed were the drivers who missed out.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 47.992s 2. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 48.016s +0.024s 3. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 48.088s +0.096s 4. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 48.097s +0.105s 5. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 48.173s +0.181s 6. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 48.200s +0.208s 7. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 48.223s +0.231s 8. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 48.248s +0.256s 9. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 48.264s +0.272s10. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 48.314s +0.322s11. Joey Logano Penske Ford 48.399s +0.407s12. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 48.408s +0.416s13. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 48.442s +0.450s14. AJ Allmendinger Phoenix Chevrolet 48.477s +0.485s15. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 48.486s +0.494s16. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 48.531s +0.539s17. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 48.534s +0.542s18. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 48.601s +0.609s19. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 48.622s +0.630s20. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet 48.659s +0.667s21. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 48.703s +0.711s22. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 48.734s +0.742s23. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 48.742s +0.750s24. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 48.756s +0.764s25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 48.771s +0.779s26. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 48.832s +0.840s27. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 48.901s +0.909s28. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 48.938s +0.946s29. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 48.962s +0.970s30. Casey Mears Germain Ford 48.979s +0.987s31. David Reutimann BK Toyota 49.092s +1.100s32. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 49.168s +1.176s33. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 49.197s +1.205s34. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 49.227s +1.235s35. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 49.229s +1.237s36. David Ragan Front Row Ford 49.329s +1.337s37. David Stremme Swan Toyota 49.539s +1.547s38. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 49.577s +1.585s39. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 49.658s +1.666s40. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 49.772s +1.780s41. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 50.034s +2.042s42. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 50.126s +2.134s43. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 50.344s +2.352sDid not qualify: Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 49.483s +1.467s Scott Speed Leavine Ford 50.780s +2.692s