Ryan Newman surged to pole for the New Hampshire NASCAR Sprint Cup race with a run late in qualifying.
It looked unlikely that anyone would topple Kasey Kahne from his provisional pole position for most of the afternoon. But Newman’s Stewart-Haas Chevrolet emerged from the qualifying line late in the session and did two laps good enough for pole. His best of 27.904 seconds and 136.497mph edged out Kahne’s Hendrick Chevrolet by 0.085sec.
Jeff Gordon was one of the remaining threats to Newman, though that seemed unlikely when his first lap was only good enough for 23rd. The Hendrick man’s second lap was far quicker, taking him to third ahead of Kurt Busch.
Martin Truex Jr. gave his troubled Michael Waltrip Racing team a slight lift by qualifying fifth, ahead of Joey Logano. Childress duo Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick fill row five, ahead of championship leader Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle.
The latter was the only one of the Roush Fenway trio to run strongly. Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr start way down in 26th and 31st places.
Veteran Kenny Wallace stood in for Brian Vickers, while the Waltrip driver was on Nationwide duty at Kentucky and was 26th fastest.
Several driver line-ups in the lower half of the field have been shuffled for this weekend. Most notable changes were Michael McDowell moving from Phil Parsons Racing to Phoenix Racing and qualifying 27th, while rookie driver Kevin Swindell made his Cup debut for Swan and claimed 33rd.
Josh Wise failed to set a time after his Front Row Ford blew a tyre and crashed.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 27.904s 2. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 27.989s +0.085s 3. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 27.995s +0.091s 4. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 28.033s +0.129s 5. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 28.081s +0.177s 6. Joey Logano Penske Ford 28.104s +0.200s 7. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 28.117s +0.213s 8. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 28.128s +0.224s 9. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 28.136s +0.232s10. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 28.170s +0.266s11. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 28.187s +0.283s12. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 28.193s +0.289s13. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 28.198s +0.294s14. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 28.209s +0.305s15. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.216s +0.312s16. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 28.236s +0.332s17. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 28.323s +0.419s18. Mark Martin Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 28.335s +0.431s19. David Ragan Front Row Ford 28.362s +0.458s20. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 28.378s +0.474s21. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 28.383s +0.479s22. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 28.396s +0.492s23. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.428s +0.524s24. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 28.468s +0.564s25. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 28.473s +0.569s26. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 28.501s +0.597s27. Michael McDowell Phoenix Chevrolet 28.520s +0.616s28. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 28.526s +0.622s29. Kenny Wallace Waltrip Toyota 28.550s +0.646s30. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 28.573s +0.669s31. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 28.577s +0.673s32. Landon Cassill Hillman Chevrolet 28.601s +0.697s33. Kevin Swindell Swan Toyota 28.775s +0.871s34. Casey Mears Germain Ford 28.804s +0.900s35. David Reutimann BK Toyota 28.811s +0.907s36. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 28.819s +0.915s37. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 28.835s +0.931s38. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 28.844s +0.940s39. Tony Raines Circle Sport Chevrolet 28.965s +1.061s40. Scott Riggs Leavine Ford 29.067s +1.163s41. Johnny Sauter Parsons Ford 29.161s +1.257s42. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 29.579s +1.675s43. Josh Wise Front Row Ford