Ryan Newman powered his way to a pole at Bristol Motor Speedway Friday, putting him position to finally break through at the half-mile track. Since the changes to the track's layout, Newman has finished inside the top 10 in all but one start. While a Bristol victory has eluded him during the stretch and in his career, starting on the pole could be the X-factor. The first pit stall on pit road is a huge advantage, and if Newman's crew can put him out front late, he could end his night in Victory Lane.
Two prime candidates to stop Newman are Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth. The duo will start second and third Saturday night, and both drivers are two-time winners at the track. In March, both finished inside the top five with Edwards taking second and Kenseth coming home fourth. Newman may have the pole, but history favors Edwards and Kenseth.
History also favors Kyle Busch, but unlike Newman, track position is not on his side. Busch qualified a distant 23rd, putting his chances of a Bristol three-peat in doubt. However, he has won four of the last five races at the track and finished in the top two in seven of his last 10. If there is any driver that can overcome a poor starting spot, it's Busch.
About Brian Polking
Racing has been part of Brian's life ever since he can remember, and he spent his childhood at dirt tracks throughout Ohio and Kentucky watching his father race. NASCAR naturally became his favorite sport, and he has been following the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series for most of his life. Brian majored in journalism and economics at Ohio State University and becoming a sports writer has always been his dream. Although he has covered everything from minor league baseball to the NCAA tournament, his passion has always been NASCAR. Brian has served as a NASCAR writer for a variety of sites, eventually becoming head editor of the NASCAR section for Fanball.com. His knowledge of NASCAR comes from his life-long love of racing, and he tries to add a personal touch to every article he writes. Brian is always up for talking NASCAR with anyone that wants to. Brian joined KFFL's team in 2011.
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