Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Army ROTC Racing Chevrolet, led the two-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent in time trials Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon by qualifying sixth for Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Newman turned a lap of 28.578 seconds at 133.277 mph on the 1.058-mile oval.
“The quality of today’s Soldiers is extraordinary,” said Newman, who won at New Hampshire in September 2005 and July 2011. “They are smarter, stronger, better trained and better educated than any other Army in the history of the world and it’s an honor to represent them, especially this week at New Hampshire. The Army ROTC Chevrolet was pretty good. It was a top-10 run for us. We picked up a good bit from what we practiced and the track is a little bit hotter.”
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet for SHR, will start 10th after turning a lap of 28.651 seconds at 132.938 mph.
“It was really, really slick out there,” said Stewart, who won at New Hampshire in July 2000, July 2005 and September 2011. “It wasn’t good for our qualifying lap, but if it stays like that for the race, we’ll be in good shape. When tracks get hot and slick, that’s what I like. It suits my style.”
Kyle Busch captured his ninth career Sprint Cup pole, his first of the season and his first at New Hampshire by posting a lap 28.548 seconds at 133.417 mph.
Kasey Kahne will start on the outside of row one as he timed in at 28.551 seconds at 133.403 mph, while Denny Hamlin (28.552 seconds at 133.399 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (28.565 seconds at 133.338 mph) and Clint Bowyer (28.569 seconds at 133.319 mph) rounded out the top five.
Forty-four drivers attempted to qualify for the Lenox Industrials Tools 301. The lone driver not making the cut in the 43-car field was Mike Bliss.
As far as manufacturers went, Toyota took the top spot via Busch’s pole run. Chevrolet was next best at the hands of Kahne. Ford was the third-fastest make thanks to 11th-quick Greg Biffle (28.665 seconds at 132.873 mph), while 22nd-quick Brad Keselowski (28.836 seconds at 132.085 mph) carried the flag for Dodge.
The Lenox Industrial Tools 301 gets underway at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.