Mark Martin secured the 56th pole of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday.
Despite a later slot traditionally being better for qualifying as the sun sets at the Arizona track, Michael Waltrip Toyota driver Martin was able to take provisional pole with a mid-pack lap and could then resist all the challengers at the end of the queue and hang on in front.
Martin's 26.973-second lap gave him a 0.040s advantage over front row partner Kasey Kahne's Hendrick Chevrolet.
"The car was beautiful," said Martin, who also took pole for this event a year ago. "All the guys do such a nice job. I had a lot of anxiety about it. The times are so close that one little slip-up really costs you here."
Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson made it two Hendrick cars in the top three, with team-mate Jeff Gordon fifth behind Kyle Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Practice pacesetter Matt Kenseth could only manage ninth.
After her Daytona pole a week ago, Danica Patrick experienced a comedown as her best lap proved only 40th fastest.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 26.073s 2. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 26.113s + 0.040s 3. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 26.124s + 0.051s 4. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 26.149s + 0.076s 5. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 26.246s + 0.173s 6. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 26.250s + 0.177s 7. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 26.263s + 0.190s 8. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 26.292s + 0.219s 9. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 26.300s + 0.227s 10. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 26.304s + 0.231s 11. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 26.309s + 0.236s 12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 26.329s + 0.256s 13. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 26.344s + 0.271s 14. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 26.354s + 0.281s 15. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 26.377s + 0.304s 16. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 26.400s + 0.327s 17. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 26.414s + 0.341s 18. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 26.419s + 0.346s 19. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 26.483s + 0.410s 20. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 26.492s + 0.419s 21. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 26.496s + 0.423s 22. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 26.580s + 0.507s 23. AJ Allmendinger Phoenix Chevrolet 26.580s + 0.507s 24. David Ragan Front Row Ford 26.614s + 0.541s 25. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 26.618s + 0.545s 26. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 26.647s + 0.574s 27. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 26.654s + 0.581s 28. Scott Speed Leavine Ford 26.683s + 0.610s 29. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 26.702s + 0.629s 30. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 26.725s + 0.652s 31. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 26.727s + 0.654s 32. Joey Logano Penske Ford 26.791s + 0.718s 33. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty 26.797s + 0.724s 34. David Reutimann BK Toyota 26.903s + 0.830s 35. Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyta 26.911s + 0.838s 36. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 26.948s + 0.875s 37. David Stremme Swan Toyota 26.952s + 0.879s 38. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 26.990s + 0.877s 39. Scott Riggs Xxxtreme Ford 27.084s + 0.960s 40. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 27.090s + 0.941s 41. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 27.268s + 1.022s 42. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 27.325s + 1.075s 43. Casey Mears Germain Ford 27.421s + 1.158s