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NASCAR NEWS 

Mark Martin takes third NASCAR Sprint Cup pole of 2012 at Dover

Mark MartinVeteran 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
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