Avondale, Ariz. Ryan Newman set a rookie record with his series-leading sixth pole of the season, taking the top spot Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. The 24-year-old Newman knocked Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the pole with a lap around the 1-mile oval at 132.655 mph. John Andretti went 132.597 to take the outside of the front row for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500.
The time difference between Newman's Penske Racing South Ford and the Petty Enterprises Dodge of Andretti was just 0.014-seconds. But it was enough to move Newman out of a tie with the late Davey Allison for the most poles by a first-year Winston Cup driver. Allison set the mark in 1987.
Earnhardt wound up third at 132.333, followed by Jeff Gordon at 132.285, Dave Blaney at 132.115 and Kenny Wallace at 131.849.
Mark Martin, who trails Winston Cup leader Tony Stewart by 112 points going into the last two races, qualified seventh at 131.728. Stewart was 16th at 131.014.