Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 US Army Chevrolet, not only scored the pole for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but he also set a new track record at a speed of 135.232 mph and a time of 28.165 seconds.
And all he could compare it to was making a good batch of macaroni and cheese.
[media-credit id=62 align=”alignright” width=”220″][/media-credit]“I’ve always been blessed with really good cars here,” Newman said. “It’s like making good macaroni and cheese. Sometimes, it just tastes good.”
Other than macaroni and cheese, Newman is not sure why he has had such good runs at NHMS. But for his qualifying effort, he believes the new tires played a part in his first pole of the 2011 season.
“I don’t know what the chemistry is, but I like it,” Newman said. “It’s a new tire, which is one part of it. But even with the tire change, we’ve made the cars better.”
“It’s a combination of things,” Newman continued. “The tires are the only things touching the race track, so when they change it’s a big change. But it works.”
“I didn’t know exactly what to expect,” Newman said. “It wasn’t a perfect, perfect lap, but the car had a lot of speed.”
With this pole, Newman now sits alone in tenth on the all-time poles list. This was the driver’s 47th pole in 351 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
Newman was also quite proud as not only did he claim the Coors Light pole, but his team owner and teammate Tony Stewart scored the outside pole position.
Stewart, piloting the No. 14 Office Dept/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, for Stewart-Haas Racing, posted his fifth top-10 start in 2011 and his 16th in 25 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“It’s awesome,” Stewart said. “We have a great group of guys at SHR.”
“We’ve got great engines and great chassis from Hendricks and I’m just really proud of our organization,” Smoke continued. “They keep focused and they keep working. This is for all our guys at the shop.”
Stewart not only had high praise for his own crew and the entire Stewart-Haas Race team, but he also had high praise for his pole winner.
“I’ve got a pretty good driver over there,” Stewart said of Newman. “He’s gotten two poles in two nights so he’s doing a pretty good job.”
Newman will also start from the pole in the Whelen Modified Series race, also running at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He will be competing for this third straight win in that event.
David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, continued riding the momentum from his runner up finish at Kentucky Speedway last weekend. The Michael Waltrip racing driver qualified third, with a time of 28.263 seconds and a speed of 134.763 mph.
“It didn’t feel that good at all,” Reutimann said of his qualifying lap. “But thankfully the Aaron’s Dream Machine has been pretty good since we unloaded and it ended up being okay there.”
“The lap itself didn’t feel all that good, but in the end it was good enough for third.”
This was Reutimann’s third top-10 start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his fifth in 19 races this season.
Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch, in the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, qualified fourth and Brad Keselowski, piloting the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge rounded out the top five in the time trials.