Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, led the two-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent in time trials Friday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn by qualifying 14th for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Stewart turned a lap of 36.571 seconds at 196.877 mph on the 2-mile oval.
“We were a little bit too loose,” said Stewart, who won at Michigan in June 2000. “We got it better from where we were in practice, but we still need to get it tightened up. We’ll use all of Saturday’s practice to get the Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevy right for Sunday.”
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 WIX Filters Chevrolet for SHR, will start alongside his teammate in 15th after turning a lap of 36.598 seconds at 196.732 mph.
“I just got out of the groove on the first lap,” said Newman, who won at Michigan in August 2003 and June 2004. “The WIX Filters Chevrolet is quick, but it just didn’t turn on our run. It didn’t do what I expected it to do. It didn’t do what it did in practice. We’ve got a good car and we have plenty of opportunities tomorrow to work on it and get it fixed for Sunday.”
Mark Martin captured his 55th career Sprint Cup pole, his fourth of the season and his first at Michigan by posting a lap of 36.053 seconds at 199.706 mph.
Carl Edwards will start on the outside of row one as he timed in at 36.249 seconds at 198.626 mph. Jimmie Johnson was third (36.283 seconds at 198.440 mph), while Matt Kenseth (36.330 seconds at 198.183 mph) and Kasey Kahne (36.386 seconds at 197.878 mph) rounded out the top-five.
Forty-five drivers attempted to qualify for the Pure Michigan 400. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Stephen Leicht and J.J. Yeley.
As far as manufacturers went, Toyota took the top spot via Martin’s pole run. Ford was next best at the hands of Edwards. Chevrolet was the third-fastest make thanks to Johnson, while 17th-quick Parker Kligerman (36.688 seconds at 196.249 mph) carried the flag for Dodge.
The Pure Michigan 400 gets underway at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at noon.