Indianapolis, IN- It’s been a special 2013 season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
On pole day for the Indianapolis 500 back in May, fellow Hoosier Ed Carpenter won the pole in dramatic fashion as he endured the best punches of the three Team Penske cars and the five Andretti Autosport drivers.
Carpenter a Butler University grad has a single car team owned by himself and took that to a pole in his hometown race. It was an incredible story.
Ryan Newman did his best to replicate the Hoosier magic as the South Bend native and Purdue University grad won the pole for Sunday’s Brickyard 400 in yet another dramatic turn of events.
Jimmie Johnson set the new track record early on in the session with a lap no one thought would get beat. After a string of tough drivers went everyone including myself thought that’s it Johnson will start on the pole.
Rightfully to think so, Newman was eight quickest this morning and his lap came no where close to the track record speed that Johnson set as the 11th qualifier. As the final qualifier it was up to Newman to knock him off and that he did.
Newman set the new track record with a speed of 187.531 mph and became the second Hoosier to start on the pole at Indianapolis in the same year.
“I got a little emotional on the backstretch when the crew told me,” said Newman. “It feels like home again in Indiana. My sister lives on the west side and my parents still have a house in South Bend. This is special to me.”
Not only did a pole in his home track make Newman emotional but becoming the ninth driver in Sprint Cup history to reach 50 poles is a huge accomplishment as well.
To show how special this place is to Hoosiers, both pole winners had tears of joy after their qualifying runs. What a special two days for fans that live in Indiana.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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