Newman captures pole for UAW-Chrysler 400

Saturday, March 12, 2005

LAS VEGAS -- Ryan Newman was the third driver to attempt to qualify at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Once he posted his lap, the suspense was over.

Newman ran a flawless lap at 173.745 mph in his Dodge Charger on Friday to win the pole for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and knock the track off the short list of places he had yet to master.

"That was pretty impressive on my part as far as just getting speed," he said. "I felt like I pretty much nailed everything. If somebody else beats us, it's because they beat us."

Nobody did.

Newman, who has won 28 poles in his career, has now claimed the top qualifying spot at all but nine of the 22 Nextel Cup venues.

Elliott Sadler qualified second in a Ford at 173.712, and Greg Biffle was third in his Ford at 173.182. Kevin Harvick was fourth in a Chevrolet, but did not qualify with a full tank of gas as required this season and will have to go to the rear of the field.

He was followed by Scott Riggs, who will be forced to go to the rear because he changed the transmission in his Chevy.

Kurt Busch, the series champion and a Las Vegas native, qualified sixth and seemed jealous of Newman's speed.

"We've talked about how Newman goes into ludicrous speed before and mine was ridiculous speed," Busch said. "I was starting to see three 7's line up, but we came up a bit short. We had a cherry mixed in somewhere."

Busch's younger brother, Kyle, was 11th.

Travis Kvapil, a teammate of Newman, was seventh and the highest qualifying rookie. Kasey Kahne was eighth and two-time defending race winner Matt Kenseth ninth. Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top 10.

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