In winning the Coors Light Pole Award at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ryan Newman, a native of South Bend, Ind., became the ninth driver with at least 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles.
With a speed of 187.531 mph (47.992 seconds), Newman won his first Indianapolis pole, and joined an exclusive list that features some of the sport’s all-time greats. Here is the exclusive “50 Poles Club”:
All-Time NSCS Poles
Richard Petty 123
David Pearson 113
Jeff Gordon 72
Cale Yarborough 69
Darrell Waltrip 59
Bobby Allison 58
Mark Martin 56
Bill Elliott 55
Ryan Newman 50
Newman won 11 poles in 2003, the largest single-season number of a NASCAR Sprint Cup career that began in 2000 thus earning him the nickname “Rocket Man.” This is the 12th season in which Newman has won at least one pole. Newman has won five or more poles in five different seasons.
Of his previous 49 poles, Newman has won the corresponding race four times with 18 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. His last win from the pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July 2011.
Newman’s first pole came in the third start of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May of 2001, at the age of 23. Pole number 50 comes in his 424th start, at the age of 35. He won 43 poles driving for Penske Racing and seven since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009.
Newman has won at least one pole at 17 different tracks, the most coming at Charlotte (nine).