Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Newman wins pole of NASCAR Sprint Cup race in New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. — Ryan Newman used a track-record lap to fuel his run at a championship.

Newman set the New Hampshire Motor Speedway qualifying record with a lap of 136.497 mph to win the pole and headline a top 12 loaded with Chase drivers for Sunday's Sylvania 300.

Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship drivers filled 10 of the top 12 spots Friday. Kasey Kahne was second, Jeff Gordon third and Kurt Busch fourth for what will be the second Chase race.

Joey Logano qualified sixth, Kevin Harvick eighth, series points leader Matt Kenseth ninth, Greg Biffle, 10th, Jimmie Johnson 11th and Kyle Busch 12th.

Newman is eighth in the standings, within striking distance of Kenseth. He won his second pole of the season and 51st in 432 career Cup races. Newman won from the pole this season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Newman has three career wins at New Hampshire.

"This track is the birthplace of track position," he said. "It is really difficult to pass. Having a good pit selection, having all those things we've had to many times before (helps). Last time we were on the pole here, we led a lot of laps and won. I'm hoping we can duplicate that again."

The rest of the Chase field saw Clint Bowyer start 16th and Dale Earnhardt Jr. 17th. Earnhardt, 13th in the Chase standings, was disgusted after his lap.

"The car just hadn't been turning well and the front end is a bit of a handful," he said.

Gordon has four straight top-10 finishes to work up to seventh in the standings.

"We are in it and we want to show everyone why we are in it," Gordon said.

formula one: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel set the fastest practice time for the Singapore Grand Prix at 1 minute, 44.249 seconds on the Marina Bay circuit. Teammate Mark Webber was six-tenths of a second back. … A German court delayed until next year a decision on whether to try Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on bribery charges.

arca race today: Friday's ARCA series' 150-mile race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta was postponed when rain washed out qualifying. The race was rescheduled for 1:45 today with the grid set on owners' points and precede tonight's Nationwide Kentucky 300. Rain also washed out Nationwide practice Friday.

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