Stewart tops in Atlanta qualifying
September 1, 2012INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart claimed his first pole of the season after posting the quickest lap in Friday's qualifying for the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Stewart, who was the third-to-last driver to qualify in the 47-car field, turned a lap at 186.121 mph for his 14th career pole in NASCAR's premier series. His most recent pole came last October at Charlotte.
"That lap was 100 percent due to (Stewart-Haas Racing teammate) Ryan Newman," Stewart said. "He walked over to help us before we went out and said, 'There's a ton of grip up there, so you just got to do it.'
It's the first time in 26 races that Stewart has won the pole at this 1.5-mile racetrack. He is a three-time race winner here, with his most recent victory coming in Sept. 2010.
"This has always been a fun place," Stewart added. "The slicker it gets the more fun it gets. At least we've got a great starting spot for this now."
Greg Biffle, the current points leader, earned the outside pole after a lap at 185.648 mph.
"The car was pretty good," Biffle said. "The guys made great adjustments, and we had a lot of grip. I kind of messed it up. We were a little too tight. I kind of scrapped turn one and two a little bit and thought I did okay in three and four. I wish I had one more try at it since we were that close."