It’s round two in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the first of two one-mile tracks are up, with Ryan Newman hoping to hang on for a win.
On Friday, Newman won the pole for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he posted a qualifying lap of 136.497 mph in 27.904 seconds for a new track record. Newman’s qualifying lap bested the old track record of 135.922 mph that was set by Brad Keselowski back in July. The pole at New Hampshire is Newman’s second pole of the year.
Along with the pole for Sunday’s race, Newman will have the best starting position among all of the championship contenders.
Joining Newman on the front row will be Kasey Kahne, followed by Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. to close out the top five. Chevrolet teams dominated qualifying by taking the top four spots and the first two rows in the lineup. About 10 out of the 13 Chase drivers qualified in the top-12 for Sunday’s race. Carl Edwards qualified in 26th, farther back then the rest of the Chase drivers.
New Hampshire will provide the opportunity for some Chase drivers to recover from some mishaps from the opening race at Chicagoland, especially for Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. After engine issues ended their nights early at Chicago, Sunday will be the time to make it up. Logano won’t just be looking to recover from his first race in his first-ever Chase but to recover from his last race at New Hampshire.
Qualifying on Friday was very important especially for the drivers in the Chase since track position is very important at New Hampshire. Come race time at the Magic Mile on Sunday, the Chase continues, so there will be movements within the point standings.