|Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs|
The native of South Bend, Indiana and Purdue University graduate drew the last slot in qualifying for the Crown Royal Presents The Samuel Deeds 400 at The Brickyard. He set a new track record and knocked defending race winner Jimmie Johnson off the top of the pylon.
Johnson went out 11th and sweated through the rest of the session until Newman wheeled the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevy around Indianapolis Motor Speedway around the narrow track and became the ninth driver to score 50 or more career Cup poles.
"I did miss Turn 2 a little bit on my turning point, and felt like that I made that mistake and then the lap tracker showed that." said Johnson. "But Ryan hit all four corners great and got it done. Happy for him. It's got to be a big day for him, being a hometown boy and all. Very happy for Ryan and very happy for our team."
Newman got teary-eyed over his achievement.
"I got emotional on the backstretch when they told me that. It's special to me because it's Indiana, but it's more special to me because it's the Brickyard, because it's Indy, because of the history of auto racing at this facility." Newman said.
"So many drivers who are my heroes, so many drivers I've admired, so many drivers that have worked so hard in their career to get to here on this day, to be the fastest one, that's what's themost special to me. Yeah, it's awesome to get that standing ovation from all the Indiana guys and girls that are here. It does feel like home again in Indiana."
When asked why he hadn't won a pole since September (2011,) Newman said, " Actually I woke up this morning and had a couple chocolate chip cookies and just decided to try harder."
No confirmation on whether they were soda cookies.
Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, and Tony Stewart round out the top five starting positions.
Edwards said, "We brought a brand new car here that everyone worked very hard on, and we were not very good at the beginning of practice. Everybody worked really hard to get the car right, and we had a great 1 and 2 and not so great at 3 and 4, and I thought I was going to be the most disappointed guy in the place until Ryan ran his lap and I feel bad for Jimmie..."
The race begins at 1 p.m. (ET) with coverage on ESPN beginning at 12 p.m. (ET).
Full starting lineup:
|8||Juan Pablo Montoya||48.248||186.536|
|15||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||48.486||185.621|
|25||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||48.771||184.536|
|38||Martin Truex, Jr.||49.577||181.536||OP|
DNQ: Mike Bliss, Scott Speed