Martinsville NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson takes record pole
|By Connell Sanders Jr||Friday, April 5th 2013, 21:06 GMT|
Jimmie Johnson claimed pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville with a record lap.
The top six in qualifying were all under the lap record as the new Gen 6 car proved to be a definite step forward around the half-mile track.
Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet had earlier been quicker in practice, and he produced a time of 19.244 seconds to knock Marcos Ambrose off the top spot.
"The car was fast right off the truck and I'm happy I did my part in qualifying and backed it up with the pole," said Johnson.
The delighted Ambrose had held pole for a large part of qualifying before Johnson edged ahead of the Australian's Richard Petty Ford by just 0.007s.
Joe Gibbs Racing announced earlier this week that Brian Vickers would take over the injured Denny Hamlin's car from the next race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Vickers went on to qualify third for present employer Michael Waltrip Racing in his first Cup appearance of 2013, while Hamlin's Martinsville-only stand-in Mark Martin could only manage 35th.
Joey Logano, still at the centre of controversy over his part in Hamlin's accident, was pole-holder before Ambrose's run and ended up fourth.
His Penske team-mate Brad Keselowski got through technical inspection just in time to secure seventh, with Hendrick pair Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon setting identical times as they split the two Fords.
Gibbs driver Matt Kenseth was eighth, just ahead of his former Roush Ford team-mate Carl Edwards. Stewart-Haas driver Ryan Newman completed the top 10.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 19.244s 2. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 19.251s + 0.007s 3. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota 19.266s + 0.022s 4. Joey Logano Penske Ford 19.269s + 0.025s 5. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 19.286s + 0.042s 6. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 19.286s + 0.042s 7. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 19.307s + 0.063s 8. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 19.319s + 0.075s 9. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 19.330s + 0.086s 10. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 19.330s + 0.086s 11. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 19.333s + 0.089s 12. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 19.334s + 0.090s 13. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 19.352s + 0.108s 14. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 19.366s + 0.122s 15. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 19.378s + 0.134s 16. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 19.393s + 0.149s 17. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 19.399s + 0.155s 18. Regan Smith Phoenix Chevrolet 19.419s + 0.175s 19. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 19.430s + 0.186s 20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 19.433s + 0.189s 21. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 19.435s + 0.191s 22. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 19.438s + 0.194s 23. David Ragan Front Row Ford 19.445s + 0.201s 24. David Stremme Swan Toyota 19.462s + 0.218s 25. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 19.472s + 0.228s 26. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 19.478s + 0.234s 27. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 19.486s + 0.242s 28. Scott Speed Leavine Ford 19.512s + 0.268s 29. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 19.523s + 0.279s 30. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 19.532s + 0.288s 31. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 19.541s + 0.297s 32. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 19.542s + 0.298s 33. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 19.546s + 0.302s 34. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 19.556s + 0.312s 35. Mark Martin Joe Gibbs Toyota 19.571s + 0.327s 36. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 19.587s + 0.343s 37. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 19.591s + 0.347s 38. Scott Riggs Xxxtreme Ford 19.603s + 0.359s 39. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 19.625s + 0.381s 40. David Reutimann BK Toyota 19.628s + 0.384s 41. Casey Mears Germain Ford 19.642s + 0.398s 42. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 19.672s + 0.428s 43. Joe Nemechek NEMCO-JRR Toyota 19.824s + 0.580s Did not qualify: Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 19.614s + 0.370s