Mark Martin takes third NASCAR Sprint Cup pole of 2012 at Dover
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, June 2nd 2012, 18:12 GMT|
Veteran Mark Martin claimed his third NASCAR Sprint Cup pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday's race at Dover.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver, fastest in opening practice on Friday, went out last on track and beat the benchmark set by six-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson by just five thousandths of a second.
Martin not only set the pace in practice and then in qualifying, but also looked one of the most consistent drivers on long runs during the final practice on Friday afternoon, as MWR still seeks its first victory of 2012.
Johnson kept the momentum rolling for Hendrick Motorsports by matching his best qualifying effort of the season in second, followed by Stewart-Haas' Ryan Newman and Martin's team-mate Clint Bowyer on the second row.
Roush Fenway's Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five as the top Ford while his team-mate and points leader Greg Biffle was seventh ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch and Phoenix Racing's Kurt Busch, the most recent winner at the 'Monster Mile'.
Reigning champion Tony Stewart continued to struggle at the one-mile concrete track, finishing the session in 29th despite his team-mate Newman enjoying a good qualifying run.
Scott Speed was the best of the non-guaranteed qualifiers, while Josh Wise and Cole Whitt failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 22.742s 2. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 22.747s + 0.005s 3. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 22.751s + 0.009s 4. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 22.778s + 0.036s 5. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 22.787s + 0.045s 6. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 22.804s + 0.062s 7. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 22.808s + 0.066s 8. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 22.808s + 0.066s 9. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 22.841s + 0.099s 10. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 22.850s + 0.108s 11. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 22.851s + 0.109s 12. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 22.858s + 0.116s 13. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 22.869s + 0.127s 14. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 22.871s + 0.129s 15. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 22.877s + 0.135s 16. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 22.880s + 0.138s 17. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 22.882s + 0.140s 18. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 22.904s + 0.162s 19. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 22.921s + 0.179s 20. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 22.956s + 0.214s 21. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 22.956s + 0.214s 22. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 22.962s + 0.220s 23. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge 22.983s + 0.241s 24. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 22.994s + 0.252s 25. Scott Speed Go Green Ford 23.005s + 0.263s 26. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 23.009s + 0.267s 27. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 23.037s + 0.295s 28. David Ragan Front Row Ford 23.045s + 0.303s 29. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 23.059s + 0.317s 30. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 23.118s + 0.376s 31. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 23.125s + 0.383s 32. David Stremme Inception Toyota 23.186s + 0.444s 33. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 23.239s + 0.497s 34. JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Toyota 23.275s + 0.533s 35. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 23.292s + 0.550s 36. Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 23.292s + 0.550s 37. Stephen Leicht Circle Sport Chevrolet 23.304s + 0.562s 38. Reed Sorenson FAS Lane Ford 23.362s + 0.620s 39. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 23.373s + 0.631s 40. Casey Mears Germain Ford 23.397s + 0.655s 41. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 23.422s + 0.680s 42. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 23.440s + 0.698s 43. Scott Riggs R3 Chevrolet 23.304s + 0.562s Did not qualify: Josh Wise Front Row Ford 23.333s + 0.591s Cole Whitt Turn One Chevrolet 23.340s + 0.598s