Martin Truex Jr takes pole for NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, April 14th 2012, 01:51 GMT|
Martin Truex Jr claimed Michael Waltrip Racing's second pole position of the season in qualifying for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas.
Truex bumped Brad Keselowski's Penske Dodge from the top spot with a lap of 28.366s. His benchmark stood unbeaten despite both Roush Fenway Ford drivers Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle and Truex's MWR Toyota team-mate Mark Martin also breaking the 190mph barrier.
The MWR pole of 2012 continues an upwards trend for the squad, which has its two full-time drivers sitting inside the top 10 of the Sprint Cup points table after six races.
Truex, third in the championship, said: "It means a lot for me to get a pole for this guys.
"This is early but we've come a long way. We're starting to gel as a team, we're starting to get to where we want to be. We're not there yet, but this is a good step in that direction and hopefully we'll be standing over here in Victory Lane shooting guns tomorrow [Saturday] night."
Behind the MWR and Roush duos on the front two rows, Hendrick Motorsport's Kasey Kahne was fifth and the fastest Chevrolet driver, followed by Martinsville winner Ryan Newman (Stewart Haas), Richard Petty Ford's Marcos Ambrose and Keselowski. Earnhardt Ganassi's Jamie McMurray and Hendrick's Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top 10 in their Chevrolets.
Wood Brothers' Trevor Bayne had been fastest in the final practice ahead of qualifying and ended up as the best of the non-guaranteed starters in 19th, right ahead of three-time Texas winner Carl Edwards (Roush).
Reigning champion Tony Stewart, the most recent Sprint Cup winner at Texas, had a difficult Friday after hitting the wall early into practice, being forced to a back up car. His Stewart Haas team took a fresh engine ahead of qualifying, so he will start back in 29th.
Track conditions were affected by strong winds all day. These winds, which affected the handling of most cars through Turns 3 and 4, are expected to pick up even more on race day.
David Stremme, Joe Nemechek and Stacy Compton failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 28.366s 2. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 28.399s + 0.033s 3. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 28.403s + 0.037s 4. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 28.418s + 0.052s 5. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 28.476s + 0.110s 6. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 28.497s + 0.131s 7. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 28.591s + 0.135s 8. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 28.514s + 0.148s 9. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet 28.527s + 0.161s 10. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 28.529s + 0.163s 11. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 28.559s + 0.193s 12. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge 28.568s + 0.202s 13. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 28.589s + 0.223s 14. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 28.601s + 0.235s 15. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 28.624s + 0.258s 16. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 28.656s + 0.290s 17. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 28.678s + 0.312s 18. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 28.679s + 0.313s 19. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 28.695s + 0.329s 20. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 28.730s + 0.364s 21. David Ragan Front Row Ford 28.743s + 0.377s 22. Casey Mears Germain Ford 28.752s + 0.386s 23. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 28.762s + 0.396s 24. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 28.773s + 0.407s 25. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet 28.794s + 0.428s 26. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 28.832s + 0.466s 27. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 28.849s + 0.483s 28. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 28.860s + 0.494s 29. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 28.878s + 0.512s 30. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 28.880s + 0.514s 31. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 28.929s + 0.563s 32. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 28.976s + 0.610s 33. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 29.044s + 0.678s 34. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 29.094s + 0.728s 35. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 29.094s + 0.728s 36. JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Toyota 29.104s + 0.738s 37. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 29.159s + 0.793s 38. Scott Speed Leavine Family Ford 29.170s + 0.804s 39. Reed Sorenson FAS Lane Ford 29.217s + 0.851s 40. Scott Riggs R3 Chevrolet 29.229s + 0.863s 41. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 29.464s + 1.098s 42. Tony Raines Childress Chevrolet 29.699s + 1.333s 43. Mike Bliss Humphrey-Smith Toyota 29.232s + 0.866s Did not qualify: David Stremme Inception Toyota 29.234s + 0.868s Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 29.288s + 0.922s Stacy Compton Turn One Chevrolet 29.828s + 1.462s