CUP: Newman Seeks Atlanta Pole Record

On one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks, Ryan Newman can set a “fast” record Saturday.

Newman and Buddy Baker, whose driving “lessons” helped Newman in his early NASCAR years, share the career pole record at Atlanta Motor Speedway with seven each. Newman will be shooting to break that tie in Saturday qualifying at AMS.

“It would be an honor to set the pole record in Atlanta, and we’ll do everything we can to achieve that milestone,” Newman said. “Atlanta is one of the best tracks we go to for three- and four-wide racing in the corners. I’ve always enjoyed Atlanta, especially during qualifying.”

Newman won six straight pole positions at Atlanta from March 2003 through the fall race of 2005.

He qualified seventh in this year’s spring race at AMS. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for that event.

Earnhardt Jr. ran 192.761 mph in the spring. Geoffrey Bodine owns the AMS pole record of 197.478, set in 1997 on fresh pavement.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for and has been covering motorsports for 28 years. He has written several books on NASCAR, including "NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport" and "Then Tony Said To Junior: The Best NASCAR Stories Ever Told". He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.