Tony Stewart rebounded from what looked to be a good night of Sprint Car racing on Thursday by winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole on Friday for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Stewart took a late night flight after running the All-Star Circuit of Champions feature event at Red River Valley Speedway to practice and qualify his No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet today.
After posting the top time in qualifying and winning his heat race at RRVS, Stewart suffered a flat tire in the feature when he clipped an inside track tire marker while contending for the lead. But on Friday, Stewart helped ease the long flight back to Pocono by posting a fast lap of 171.393 mph in qualifying for his 12th career pole and second in 2010.
"We were in Fargo, North Dakota last night racing a winged Sprint Car and I was racing with some of the best wing guys in the country and crashed myself out of a second place run last night, so I was mad when I got here," Stewart said. "I told (crew chief) Darian Grubb and these guys that it might be a long practice day and I wasn't too bad on them was I was going to take it out on somebody and I took it out on the stopwatch there during qualifying."
Juan Pablo Montoya also rebounded from a disappointing turn of events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend by recording the second fastest lap at 171.096 mph.
"Last week was a rough week for the team but to rebound at a place where we don't run that well, it good," Montoya said.
Montoya has finished in the top 10 in the last three Pocono races, but this is his first top-five starting spot in eight attempts.
Denny Hamlin, who is seeking his third straight win at Pocono, qualified third with a lap of 170.371 mph. His last two victories have come from respective starting spots of sixth and fifth.
Jeff Gordon qualified fourth for his fifth consecutive top-10 start at Pocono.
Ryan Newman rounded out the top five.
Clint Bowyer, who is 12th in the standings, had a good qualifying run going but lost time in Turn 3 when he got loose. He will start 40th.
David Stremme and Max Papis failed to qualify for the 200-lap race.
Sunday's race will take the green flag at 1 p.m. ET. MRN Radio's coverage will begin at 12 noon ET.