Newman's drought

ends with Atlanta pole

HAMPTON, Ga. - Ryan Newman looked like the speed demon of old Friday night, taking the pole for Sunday's Nextel Cup race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Newman turned a fast lap of 193.124 mph that was nearly 1 1/2 mph faster than runner-up Elliott Sadler's 191.894 on a cold, windy night.

NASCAR's premier qualifier from his rookie year in 2002 through 2005, piling up 35 poles, Newman slumped to just two last year none after taking the top qualifying spot at New Hampshire in July.

Newman has yet to finish better than fifth here.

Defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, coming off a win in Las Vegas, qualified third at 191.787 . Series point leader Mark Martin will start fourth.

n Sunday's lineup, Page 2D

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