Sadler, Newman break previous track record
CONCORD, N.C. -- Elliott Sadler set a track record in winning the pole Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway in a qualifying session that placed six drivers in the Chase for the championship in the top 10.
Sadler, who is not eligible to race for the Nextel Cup title, posted a lap at 193.216 mph to break the track record of 192.988 mph set by Ryan Newman in May.
"My whole body is shaking right now," Sadler said. "This is such a fast track. It was very nerve-racking, but very fun."
Newman, who is second in the Chase standings, also broke his track record in qualifying second. He turned his lap at 193.126.
"I am disappointed because I know our car was faster and I am placing some blame on myself for not getting two good laps," Newman said. "If you are disappointed after finishing second here at Charlotte, you have real high expectations."
Jimmie Johnson, fifth in the points, qualified third. But he'll have to forfeit his spot because the engine in his Chevrolet blew up during the afternoon practice session. His Hendrick Motorsports team changed it and he'll be forced to drop to the rear of the field at the start of Saturday night's race.
"It's not a good thing to come from the back, there's going to be a lot of risks that I'm going to have to take to get to the front," Johnson said. "I'm going to have to be on my toes at the start of the race."
Tony Stewart, who currently holds a 75-point advantage over Newman in the standings, qualified fourth. Bobby Labonte, Stewart's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, was fifth in his best qualifying attempt since April.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press