Newman hangs on to claim pole for Bristol race

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Ryan Newman has won the pole for Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Newman turned a lap at 122.811 mph in Friday’s qualifying session to put his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in the top starting spot.

His lap marked a frantic final few minutes of qualifying. Jeff Gordon bumped Jamie McMurray for the pole, then Newman bumped Gordon.

Newman then had to stand and watch late efforts from Roush Fenway Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.

Kenseth put up a lap at 122.662 mph, then joined Newman on pit road to watch Edwards post a lap at 122.670 mph to qualify second, bumping Kenseth to third.

Gordon wound up fourth and was followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Mark Martin.

McMurray dropped to sixth.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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