LOUDON, N.H., Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Ryan Newman
, one of the 12 drivers battling for the Sprint Cup championship, won the pole Friday for Sunday's running of the Sylvania 300.
Newman was clocked at 135.002 miles per hour around the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway, giving him his third pole of the season and the 49th of his career. He is tied with Bobby Isaac for ninth place on the all-time list of Sprint Cup pole winners.
Newman was fastest in Friday's practice, which put him last in line to make his qualifying run. Kasey Kahne qualified second, followed by Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch.
A light rain began to fall with five drivers left to make their qualifying attempt, but they got on the track after a lengthy delay.
Kevin Harvick has a seven-point lead in the championship race over Tony Stewart. Carl Edwards is 10 points behind and Busch trails Harvick by 11. Newman is seventh in the points standings.
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