Allen Lessels on Motor Sports: Record run for Newman
“I’ve sat here before and said I think this is the birthplace of track position and I feel it probably is,” Newman said. “I’m happy, obviously, to be on the pole and to get my 51st pole and to do it at a place where it’s real tough to pass. It probably means the most here.”
They were awarded spots in the aftermath of the late-race issues at Richmond International Raceway, the last event before the Chase began, two weeks ago.
“If you’re ever going to get momentum and get things rolling, this is the time to do it,” Gordon said.
Newman (10th) and Gordon (sixth) got off to solid Chase starts at Chicagoland.
Chase drivers dominate the top of the field for Sunday’s race. They fill 10 of the first 12 starting positions.
He’s got an early eight-point edge in the standings on his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Johnson is 11 points behind Kenseth.
“You always want to be ahead,” Kenseth said “Somebody might say different, but I don’t think they’re telling the truth. Everybody wants to be in front and trying to expand your lead. ... (The Chase) couldn’t have started any better than it did, but it’s only one race out of 10 and there’s a lot of racing to do.”
He qualified on the pole for last week’s race and had high Chicago hopes.
They didn’t last long. He led the first 32 laps and was third after an extended rain delay, but then his engine blew.
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