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JGR Qualifying Report - Lenox Industrial Tools 300

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Date: July 14, 2006
Event: Lenox Industrial Tools 300 Qualifying
Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Ryan Newman of Penske Racing
JGR Lineup: Tony Stewart (5th); Denny Hamlin (12th); J.J. Yeley (20th) Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet, qualified fifth for Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 300 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon to lead the three-car contingent of Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart turned a lap of 29.520 seconds at a speed of 129.024 mph on the 1.058-mile oval. "I was a little disappointed with it (the lap)," said Stewart. "It basically drove exactly like it did in practice, so we really didn't make any gains on it, but I think we picked up about a tenth of a second (from practice). I am satisfied with that, but I wish we could've gotten it fixed a little better than that. "Still, this Home Depot Monte Carlo SS was good in practice. At the beginning of practice we did a lot of our race stuff. I'm pretty happy with the way it's driving in race trim - it's just a matter of staying with it. We'll have about an hour and 45 minutes of practice tomorrow before our Modified race and work on it there and get ready to go." Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates - Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 FedEx Express Chevrolet and J.J. Yeley in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet - qualified 12th and 20th, respectively. Hamlin turned a lap of 29.606 seconds at 128.650 mph while Yeley timed in at 29.716 seconds with a speed of 128.173 mph. "I guess I'm not really happy but not too disappointed either," said Hamlin. "If we would've backed up our practice times, I think we would've had a top-five spot, but it was really slick out there. Starting 12th should be fine for us though. I run a little different line here than a lot of the guys, so I think if we get spread out and use track position we can have a good day on Sunday." "It was fair," said Yeley of his lap. "The car was really tight in practice. We worked on it and made a bunch of changes. The center (of the corner) was really good. Unfortunately, we were just a little bit too free to the throttle. I couldn't be aggressive in (turns) two or four. "I've already learned, especially in Cup, that just because you qualify well doesn't mean you're going to finish well, and vice versa. So there's no need to get upset that we didn't put down a super-fast lap. We'll work hard during the race and make sure that we have a good car at the end." Ryan Newman captured his 37th career pole position and his second of the season with a time of 29.370 seconds at a speed of 129.683 mph. Rounding out the top-five in qualifying were Jeff Burton (29.377 seconds at 129.651 mph), Brian Vickers (29.383 seconds at 129.626 mph), Kyle Busch (29.415 seconds at 129.485 mph) and Stewart Forty-seven drivers attempted to qualify for the 300-lap race. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Ted Christopher, Joey McCarthy, Derrike Cope and Morgan Shepherd. As far as manufacturers went, Dodge took the top spot thanks to Newman's pole-winning mark. Chevrolet, however, collected positions 2-8, with Jimmie Johnson (29.527 seconds at 128.994 mph), Jeff Gordon (29.531 seconds at 128.976 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. (29.565 seconds at 128.828 mph) qualifying sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. Carrying the flag for Ford was Mark Martin, who qualified 13th (29.651 seconds at 128.454 mph). The Lenox Industrial Tools 300 gets underway on Sun., June 16 at 2:10 p.m. EDT. TNT will carry live coverage of the event.

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