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 +0.272s 10. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 48.314s +0.322s 11. Joey Logano Penske Ford 48.399s +0.407s 12. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 48.408s +0.416s 13. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 48.442s +0.450s 14. AJ Allmendinger Phoenix Chevrolet 48.477s +0.485s 15. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 48.486s +0.494s 16. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 48.531s +0.539s 17. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 48.534s +0.542s 18. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 48.601s +0.609s 19. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 48.622s +0.630s 20. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet 48.659s +0.667s 21. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 48.703s +0.711s 22. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 48.734s +0.742s 23. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 48.742s +0.750s 24. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 48.756s +0.764s 25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 48.771s +0.779s 26. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 48.832s +0.840s 27. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 48.901s +0.909s 28. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 48.938s +0.946s 29. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 48.962s +0.970s 30. Casey Mears Germain Ford 48.979s +0.987s 31. David Reutimann BK Toyota 49.092s +1.100s 32. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 49.168s +1.176s 33. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 49.197s +1.205s 34. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 49.227s +1.235s 35. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 49.229s +1.237s 36. David Ragan Front Row Ford 49.329s +1.337s 37. David Stremme Swan Toyota 49.539s +1.547s 38. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 49.577s +1.585s 39. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 49.658s +1.666s 40. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 49.772s +1.780s 41. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 50.034s +2.042s 42. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 50.126s +2.134s 43. 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