Date: May 31, 2013
Event: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (Round 13 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Pole Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (22.788 seconds at 157.978 mph)
SHR Lineup: Ryan Newman (5th, 22.826 seconds at 157.715 mph)
Tony Stewart (22nd, 23.165 seconds at 155.407 mph)
Danica Patrick (39th, 23.471 seconds at 153.381 mph)
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the three-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent in time trials Friday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway by qualifying fifth for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Newman turned a lap of 22.826 seconds at 157.715 mph around the concrete mile oval.
“It was pretty good,” said Newman, a three-time winner at Dover (June 2003, September 2003 and September 2004). “I got just a little bit loose off of (turn) four because I was tight climbing the hill. It was a good run for our Haas Automation Chevrolet. The guys have done a good job the entire time in qualifying trim. We definitely want to see it pay off in qualifying. So far it has.”
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates “Helping Oklahoma”/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, will start 22nd after posting a lap of 23.165 seconds at 155.407 mph.
“The car landed a little loose, and then got tight when I got back to the gas,” said Stewart, who swept Dover’s slate of Sprint Cup races in
2000. “Steve Addington and the guys made some decent adjustments to the back end of our Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevy. It felt like it was going to swing around in practice, so we made some progress with it there.”
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 39th after clocking in at 23.471 seconds at 153.381 mph.
“The car just didn’t want to stay on the track,” said Patrick, who will make her 23rd career Sprint Cup start Sunday and her second at Dover. “I’m not really sure what else I can say, other than we didn’t have the grip we needed. We’ve got two practices tomorrow to get our GoDaddy Chevy sorted out and, like always, we’ll give it our best shot come Sunday.”
Denny Hamlin captured his 15th career Sprint Cup pole, his third of the season and his second at Dover by turning a lap of 22.788 seconds at 157.978 mph.
Martin Truex Jr., will start on the outside of row one after clocking in at 22.814 seconds at 157.798 mph. Kyle Busch was third (22.820 seconds at 157.756 mph), while Matt Kenseth (22.823 seconds at 157.736 mph) and Newman rounded out the top-five.
Forty-three drivers attempted to qualify for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks. All made the race since there are 43 starting positions in a Sprint Cup field.
Toyota took the top spot among manufacturers via Hamlin’s pole run. Chevrolet was next-best at the hands of Newman. Ford was the third-fastest make thanks to eighth-quick Brad Keselowski (22.860 seconds at 157.480 mph).
The FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks gets underway at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with a pre-race show at 12:30 p.m.