Newman captures second consecutive Darlington pole
Updated: Friday August 31, 2001 4:57 PM
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) -- Ryan Newman won a Busch pole at Darlington Raceway for the second time this year, starting up front for the South Carolina 200.
Newman's lap of 169.246 mph was more than 3 mph faster than runner-up Mike Skinner's mark of 166.163 mph. Newman came up short of his Busch qualifying record of 170.301 mph he set at this track on March 16 for the SunCom 200.
"I thought we ran good," Skinner said. "Then Ryan came out here and embarrassed us."
Newman said he used the car with which he won the NapaOnline.com 250 at Michigan International Speedway two weeks ago.
"I guess it's not fair to my team to play favorites," Newman said. "But she's definitely showing she'll give us everything she can."
Newman, who drives for Roger Penske, won his fourth career Busch pole.
Jason Keller was third, Lyndon Amick fourth and defending Busch series champion Jeff Green was fifth.
The rest of the top 10 were Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Mike McLaughlin.
Two Winston Cup regulars made the field -- Jeff Burton (24th) and Geoffrey Bodine (28th).
Tina Gordon, an All-Pro series driver making her first Busch attempt, did not qualify on time. But gained a provisional spot, starting 42nd in the 43-car field.
Newman said he didn't notice anything special about his lap. It will be almost impossible, he says, to duplicate such a performance in Saturday's race. That's what happened in March as Newman slipped to 17th behind winner Jeff Green in the spring race.
Newman said he fell back in that one because of the pit stops for changing worn tires.
"We know we're working better now as a team," Newman said. "That will give us a chance."