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Stewart-Haas Racing 5-Hour Energy 500 Qualifying Report

Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:07 pm

Stewart-Haas Racing 5-Hour Energy 500 Qualifying Report

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 12:02 PM PDT

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala, led the two-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent in time trials at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway by qualifying eighth for Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Newman turned a lap of 52.776 seconds at 170.532 mph on the 2.5-mile triangle.

“We had a really strong Haas Automation Chevy in qualifying,” said Newman, who won at Pocono in August 2003. “I told the guys after my run that I think we probably had the pole in that car, I just didn’t quite get everything out of it that I needed to get. We’ll have a good car tomorrow, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala for SHR, will start 15th after turning a lap of 52.986 seconds at 169.856 mph.

“I think I left a little bit in turn one,” said Stewart, who won at Pocono in June 2003 and June 2009. “I think we’ve got a good Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet. We’ve got a decent starting spot and it’s a long race tomorrow. I think we’re in good shape.”

Kurt Busch captured his 14th career Sprint Cup pole, his second of the season and his first at Pocono by posting a lap of 52.454 seconds at 171.579 mph.

Paul Menard will start on the outside of row one as he timed in at 52.502 seconds at 171.422. Jeff Gordon was third (52.524 seconds at 171.350 mph), while Denny Hamlin (52.578 seconds at 171.174 mph) and Regan Smith (52.581 seconds at 171.164 mph) rounded out the top-five.

Forty-four drivers attempted to qualify for the 5-Hour Energy 500. The lone driver not making the cut in the 43-car field was Mike Skinner.

As far as manufacturers went, Dodge took the top spot via Busch’s pole run, while Chevrolet was next best at the hands of second-fastest Menard. Toyota was the third-fastest make thanks to Hamlin, while sixth-quick Carl Edwards (52.614 seconds at 171.057 mph) carried the flag for Ford.

The 5-Hour Energy 500 gets underway at 1p.m. EDT on Sunday with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon. Tony Stewart will be the featured driver on DIRECTV Hotpass channel 796.
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