NSCS: Truex Out But Not Down; Wins Pole At Martinsville

James Pike Cup, Featured, NASCAR 0 Comments

The No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota will start up front on Sunday. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images North America photo)

The No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota will start up front on Sunday. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images North America photo)

RIDGEWAY, Va. – Martin Truex Jr. rebounded from an early exit in the Chase last weekend by winning Coors Light Pole Qualifying for Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway (1 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM).

Truex claimed his fifth career pole and first at Martinsville with a fast time of 19.282 seconds (98.206 mph).

Immediately after winning the pole, Truex recognized the importance of starting up front. “This place is just so tough,” he said. “That first pit stall is just so critical for having a shot to win here. I really want to get my first grandfather clock. I’m still a little bitter from last week, but this helps a little bit. But all in all, just proud of the guys coming here with a game plan and able to execute.”

“It’s not guaranteed that you race well on Sunday. It’s definitely a nice advantage if you have a good race car to make up spots on pit road and not have to worry about getting blocked in your stall and all of those things. Its a great advantage and hopefully we’ll have a car to take advantage of it.”

The Furniture Row Racing driver also had great respect for the history of the track. “Growing up, I didn’t know much about stock car racing, he said. “I really only knew what I heard from my dad and my uncles hanging around the shop where they built their modifieds.”

“But I always heard stories about Martinsville. They’d come down once a year to run the modified race here. It wasn’t a Sprint Cup race, but it was a big deal for a bunch of clammers from New Jersey that race modifieds on the weekends!”

Behind Truex, Joey Logano led the way for the eight drivers remaining in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He qualified his No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford for Team Penske on the outside of the front row with a time of 19.290 seconds (98.165 mph).

Jimmie Johnson was the other Chase driver in the top five, and will start third on Sunday. A trio of drivers from Joe Gibbs Racing advanced to the final round: Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. They will start seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.

Three Chase drivers did not advance out of Round 2: Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. Kenseth will begin the race from 17th, while Harvick will start for 20th and Busch will start from 23rd.

A.J. Allmendinger backed up a strong run at Martinsville in the spring with a good run in qualifying. He will start fourth in his No. 47 Kroger/Clorox Chevrolet on Sunday, his best qualifying effort of the season on an oval.

Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. crashed in Round 1 and took no further part in qualifying afterwards. Stenhouse Jr. will run his backup car and will start at the rear of the field; Dillon will start in 32nd.

The Sprint Cup Series returns to action on Saturday morning for the second round of practice (9 a.m. ET, CNBC, MRN, SiriusXM).

RESULTS: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Coors Light Pole Qualifying; Martinsville Speedway; Oct. 28, 2016

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. A.J. Allmendinger
  5. Chase Elliott
  6. Tony Stewart
  7. Carl Edwards
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Kyle Busch
  10. Jeff Gordon
  11. Kyle Larson
  12. David Ragan
  13. Ryan Newman
  14. Jamie McMurray
  15. Ryan Blaney
  16. Aric Almirola
  17. Matt Kenseth
  18. Paul Menard
  19. Brad Keselowski
  20. Kevin Harvick
  21. Regan Smith
  22. Kasey Kahne
  23. Kurt Busch
  24. Danica Partick
  25. Greg Biffle
  26. Casey Mears
  27. Matt DiBenedetto
  28. Clint Bowyer
  29. Chris Buescher
  30. Michael McDowell
  31. Trevor Bayne
  32. Austin Dillon
  33. Landon Cassill
  34. Reed Sorenson
  35. Brian Scott
  36. Gray Gaulding
  37. Dylan Lupton
  38. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  39. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  40. Michael Annett

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