Qualifying: Newman on pole

Ryan Newman claimed his third pole of the year in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, easily outrunning Elliott Sadler to claim the top spot

Qualifying: Newman on pole

The Dodge driver's pole sets up the possibility of an intriguing double for team owner Roger Penske. Helio Castroneves, who drives for Penske in the IRL IndyCar Series, will start Sunday's Indianapolis 500 from pole position.

Newman ran early in the session, and set a best time of 29.140s (185.312mph) to claim pole, a full 0.160s faster than Sadler. However, Newman was unsure that he had perfected his race set-up for the 600-mile event.

"When you've got conditions that change the track as much as they do here, the possibility of starting out with the right set-up is not too great," said Newman. "We haven't made 600 miles yet. I don't think we've even made 300 miles before."

Mike Skinner was third fastest, ahead of Jeff Gordon and rookie Jack Sprague a career-best fifth. Points leader Matt Kenseth will start from 18th, with Dale Earnhardt Jr back in 24th.

Jimmie Johnson, who won The Winston last weekend and claimed pole for last year's race at Lowe's, was fastest throughout practice, but his engine broke as he began his qualifying run, leaving him 37th on the grid.

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