Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Code 3 Associates Chevrolet, led the two-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent in time trials Friday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., by qualifying sixth for the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Newman turned a lap of 28.294 seconds at 190.853 mph on the newly paved 1.5-mile oval.
“It was a great lap for our Code 3 Associates Chevrolet,” said Newman, who won at Kansas in October 2003. “It was a fast lap. I was loose and I was really hanging onto it there. The guys did a good job making the car better. I just don’t think we made it good enough to get our 50th pole.”
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for SHR, will start 33rd after clocking in at 28.745 seconds at 187.859 mph.
“The front end just chattered, and it hadn’t done that all day,” said Stewart, who won at Kansas in October 2006 and October 2009. “Obviously, the starting spot isn’t what we wanted for our Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy, because track position here will be critical. But our race pace has been good, and it’s a long race on Sunday.”
SHR driver Danica Patrick, who is driving the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with SHR, qualified 40th with a lap of 28.893 seconds at 186.896 mph.
“We’re steadily making progress and that’s what this is for,” said Patrick, who won the pole for the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Kansas in July 2005. “I know it’s going to be tough to pass and I know we’re not going to start in a great spot, but we’ll make the most of it with our GoDaddy.com Chevy and when we come back next year we’ll be better off. That’s why we’re doing this.”
Kasey Kahne captured his 26th career Sprint Cup pole, his fourth of the season and his third at Kansas by posting a lap of 28.219 seconds at 191.360 mph, shattering the previous Sprint Cup qualifying record at Kansas of 29.858 seconds at 180.856 mph set on Oct. 8, 2005 by Matt Kenseth. All 46 drivers who attempted a qualifying lap posted speeds faster than Kenseth’s old mark.
Mark Martin will start on the outside of row one after turning a lap of 28.237 seconds at 191.238 mph. Clint Bowyer was third (28.253 seconds at 191.130 mph), while Kyle Busch (28.258 seconds at 191.096 mph) and Aric Almirola (28.274 seconds at 190.988 mph) rounded out the top-five.
Forty-six drivers attempted to qualify for the Hollywood Casino 400. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Josh Wise, David Stremme and Cole Whitt.
Chevrolet took the top spot among manufacturers via Kahne’s pole run. Toyota was next best at the hands of Martin. Ford was the third-fastest make thanks to Almirola, while 15th-quick Sam Hornish Jr., carried the flag for Dodge (28.407 seconds at 190.094 mph).
The Hollywood Casino 400 gets underway at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.