Ryan Newman

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman waves to fans after qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday. (Jared Wickerham / Getty Images / September 20, 2013)

Ryan Newman on Friday won the pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Newman topped a contingent of drivers in the Chase for the Cup title playoff who led qualifying at the 1.06-mile oval in Loudon, N.H.

Known as the "Rocket Man" for his propensity to qualify fastest, Newman turned a lap of 136.497 mph in his No. 39 Chevrolet to earn his 51st career Cup pole. He was followed by Kasey Kahne at 136.082 mph.

Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano will start third through sixth, respectively.

All but Truex are in the 10-race Chase, of which New Hampshire is the second event. 

Truex was knocked out of the playoff, and Newman added in, after NASCAR penalized Truex and the rest of Michael Waltrip Racing for trying to manipulate the outcome of the final race before the Chase in Richmond, Va.

MWR's problems worsened Thursday when the NAPA auto parts chain said it would pull its sponsorship, reportedly amounting to $16 million a year, from the team after this year. NAPA mainly supports Truex's No. 56 Toyota.

Matt Kenseth, who leads the Chase by eight points over teammate Kyle Busch, qualified ninth for Sunday's race and Kyle Busch qualified 12th.

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