Qualifying: Newman steals all the thunder

The thunderstorm overhead which delayed qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte on Thursday night was nothing to compared to the shockwave created on the track by 23-year-old Ryan Newman, who steered his Penske Racing South Ford Taurus on to pole position

Qualifying: Newman steals all the thunder

The protégé of Rusty Wallace, Newman has only ever started two Winston Cup races before, but will start his third from the front of the grid next to superstar Jeff Gordon.

"This is super big for me," said Newman. "If we can be as fast as we were in that Winston Open [the non-championship race at Charlotte which he led last Saturday night], I think we'll be pretty good. To qualify as good as we did is great, but 600 miles is a totally different issue. This is a victory for us, no matter how we do Sunday, but we want to run the full race Sunday."

Gordon, a three-time winner of the Winston Cup series, said there was nothing he could do to stop the youngster from grabbing the top slot in the cool of the night.

"Ryan was that fast," said Chevrolet-mounted Gordon. "He put a great lap up there. I saw those times like Todd [Bodine] put up, and I didn't think anyone would touch that. But it's amazing how much grip this place gets when it cools down."

Bodine (Ford) starts third, ahead of the first Dodge, that of Bill Elliott, while Jimmy Spencer's Ford rounds out the top five. Series leader Dale Jarrett hit trouble when he got loose in turn three and slammed his Ford Taurus heavily into the wall in turn four and will start 37th.

Ryan Newman (Ford) 185.217mph
Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet) 184.900mph
Todd Bodine (Ford) 184.628mph
Bill Elliott (Dodge) 184.414mph
Jimmy Spencer (Ford) 184.244
Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet) 184.225mph
Mike Skinner (Chevrolet) 184.074mph
Johnny Benson (Pontiac) 183.842mph
Ward Burton (Dodge) 183.714mph
Mark Martin (Ford) 183.536mph
Robert Pressley (Ford) 183.194mph
Tony Stewart (Pontiac) 183.169mph
Buckshot Jones (Dodge) 183.150mph
Andy Houston (Ford) 183.144mph
Bobby Hamilton Jr (Chevrolet) 182.809mph
Rusty Wallace (Ford) 182.747mph
Hut Stricklin (Ford) 182.735mph
Jeff Burton (Ford) 182.667mph
Dale Earnhardt Jr (Chevrolet) 182.648mph
Ricky Craven (Ford) 182.568mph
Ricky Rudd (Ford) 182.309mph
Stacy Compton (Dodge) 182.297mph
Jerry Nadeau (Chevrolet) 182.242mph
Bobby Labonte (Pontiac) 182.094mph
Jason Leffler (Dodge) 182.063mph
Sterling Marlin (Dodge) 181.971mph
Ron Hornaday Jr (Pontiac) 181.849mph
Michael Waltrip (Chevrolet) 181.812mph
Rick Mast (Chevrolet) 181.806mph
Ken Schrader (Pontiac) 181.794mph
Kenny Wallace (Pontiac) 181.726mph
Kevin Lepage (Chevrolet) 181.677mph
Brett Bodine (Ford) 181.537mph
Jeremy Mayfield (Ford) 181.409mph
Casey Atwood (Dodge) 181.226mph
Terry Labonte (Chevrolet) 181.117mph
Dale Jarrett (Ford) Provisional
Steve Park (Chevrolet) Provisional
Bobby Hamilton (Chevrolet) Provisional
Matt Kenseth (Ford) Provisional
Elliott Sadler (Ford) Provisional
Kurt Busch (Ford) Provisional
Dave Blaney (Dodge) Provisional


John Andretti (Dodge) 180.995mph
Kyle Petty (Dodge) 180.451mph
Derrike Cope (Pontiac) 180.379mph
Mike Wallace (Ford) 179.922mph
Carl Long (Ford) 179.724mph
Jeff Fultz (Ford) 179.874 mph
Colt Seevers, the unknown stuntman (General Lee) 179.666mph

shares
comments
The Winston: Gordon win equals Dale's record

Previous article

The Winston: Gordon win equals Dale's record

Next article

Jarrett says he’ll defy the pain barrier

Jarrett says he’ll defy the pain barrier
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020