DOVER, Del. -- Ryan Newman won two poles at Dover
International Speedway, taking the top spot for the Nextel Cup race
Friday after qualifying first for his moonlighting start in a Busch
Riding the momentum of a victory at New Hampshire International
Speedway, Newman drove his Dodge around The Monster Mile at 158.102
mph to easily claim his series-leading sixth pole in NASCAR's top
circuit. He'll start first Sunday in the MBNA 400, a pole winner
for the 33rd time in just his fifth year in Cup racing.
Newman credited crew chief Matt Borland and his team.
"I told Matt, 'You give me a straight arrow and I'll shoot
it,'" Newman said. "They keep giving me straight arrows. I'm out
here representing the team."
Newman loves winning poles.
"There's no traffic, just clean air," he explained.
The defending race champion also will be trying to win for the
fourth time in his last five starts on the high-banked concrete
oval where he swept the races two years ago. He's on his way to a sweep again, winning Saturday's Busch Series Dover 200. Newman will be looking
to again move up in the Nextel Cup standings. His win last Sunday in New
Hampshire vaulted him from 10th to a tie for third -- 40 points
behind leader Tony Stewart -- after the first of 10 races among the
top 10 that will decide the championship.
Earlier Friday, Newman knocked Busch Series points leader Martin
Truex Jr. off the pole in qualifying for Saturday's Dover 200.
Newman has four poles at Dover, two in each division.
No one came close to Newman's Dodge in Cup qualifying. Still,
temperatures approaching 90 degrees kept speeds down, and there was
threatening of Jeremy Mayfield's 15-month-old mark of 161.522.
Kasey Kahne was second-fastest with a fast lap at 157.074,
making it an all-Dodge front row.
"It was a good lap, we ran about the same as we did in
practice," Kahne said. "We practiced a lot of race setups. I
think we have a top-five race car."
Rookie Kyle Busch qualified third at 156.849, followed by Dale
Earnhardt Jr., who went 156.617, and two-time Dover winner Jimmie
Johnson, at 156.569. That gave Chevrolets the third through fifth
positions on the grid.
"Once we unloaded here, I thought we had a chance to qualify in
the top 10," Busch said. "So that was definitely a good run for
Newman's teammate, Rusty Wallace, a three-time winner here, will
line up sixth in a field of 43. Four-time Dover winner Mark Martin,
Bobby Hamilton Jr., Joe Nemechek and reigning series champion Kurt
Busch completed the top 10.
Stewart will start 31st.