Ryan Newman claimed pole position for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol. The Stewart Haas driver set the benchmark with a lap time of 15.624 seconds in his Chevrolet, beating the previous mark set by Hendrick Motorsports' Jeff Gordon.
Carl Edwards was last in the order for his run after topping both practice sessions earlier in the day, the Roush Fenway Ford driver coming closest to Newman on his way to the outside of the front row of the grid.
"It was a good lap but it didn't feel that fast, I will tell you that," said Newman, who won a sprint car race at Bristol just 48 hours ago.
"Momentum is a part of it but we're in a good position right now and we've just got to make the most of it. We've got a lot of things going our way. This is a track position race, starting up front and having a good pit selection, we'll just need to keep our nose clean tomorrow night."
Newman's pole is his second of the season in the Cup, the first coming last month at New Hampshire when he led an all Stewart Haas front row and went on to win.
This time though it was a bittersweet day for the team as Newman's team-mate Tony Stewart aborted his qualifying run and will start from the back of the grid.
Edwards' teammate Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon will start from the second row while veteran Mark Martin – the most consistent driver on race pace in final practice – rounded out the top five ahead of Earnhardt Ganassi's Jamie McMurray and Richard Childress driver Paul Menard.
Penske's Brad Keselowski continued to carry momentum with eighth place on the grid in his Dodge as he continues to close on a Chase spot. He showed the best consistency of all in the first practice session of the day. Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano was the best of the Toyota's in ninth ahead of Keselowski's teammate Kurt Busch.
Joe Nemechek was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 28th. Scott Speed was 36th on his Cup return with Whitney Motorsports while TJ Bell, JJ Yeley and Jeff Green – who spun on his qualifying run – failed to make the field.
Times to follow...