Martin takes Cup pole at Bristol

Mark Martin claimed his second consecutive pole position of the season in qualifying for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway

Martin takes Cup pole at Bristol

The 50-year-old set a fastest lap of 15.256 seconds at an average speed of 125.733mph to win his seventh-career pole at the half-mile oval.

Martin was on pole two weeks ago at Atlanta but a blown tyre led him to a poor finish which, following two previous retirements, had him on the verge of losing his guaranteed start next week as his entry is now 35th in the owner standings.

"The car felt so good today," said Martin after claiming back-to-back poles for the first time since 1989. "It's no secret that we have not had the best of luck this year and it's really nice to come back this week and display speed once again. We've got speed and the [luck] part is going to turn around sooner or later."

Ryan Newman will start alongside Martin after getting within four thousandths of a second of the veteran's time. The Stewart Haas driver claimed his best qualifying effort of the year thus far, locking out the front row for Chevy ahead of Sunday's race when the manufacturer is hoping to win for the first time this season.

Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson qualified third, while Greg Biffle was fourth and fastest of the Fords despite still feeling some pain while behind the wheel following the rib injury he sustained during a fishing trip on Tuesday.

"They're hurting after that lap," Biffle said about the pain in his ribs. "I don't know. I kind of grunted hard on that last lap there coming off Turn 4. I'm a little sore right now but I'll be good for Sunday."

Kasey Kahne was the best Dodge, rounding out the top-five, ahead of the best Toyota of David Reutimann who had emerged fastest during practice earlier in the day. Dave Blaney was an impressive seventh as the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers, ahead of Jamie McMurray and five-time Bristol winner Jeff Gordon.

Scott Speed was far ahead of his rookie rival Joey Logano, taking 11th place on the grid for his Bristol debut in the Sprint Cup, while the Joe Gibbs teenager was only 23rd.

"We made the right decisions after practice I think for sure," said Speed. "You obviously pay attention to guys that run good. It's great that we're towards the front. That's going to help for sure in the race and hopefully we can make it good for happy hour."

Carl Edwards, the most recent winner at the track, could only manage to qualify 38th, while Jeff Burton who won a year ago, was even further back in 40th place, ahead of Roush Fenway's David Ragan.

Michael Waltrip qualified 21st but is set to drop to the back of the grid on Sunday after switching to his back-up car, having crashed his primary one during practice.

Scott Riggs and Jeremy Mayfield both failed to make the field.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap 1. Mark Martin Chevrolet 15.256 2. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 15.260 +0.004 3. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 15.295 +0.039 4. Greg Biffle Ford 15.315 +0.059 5. Kasey Kahne Dodge 15.356 +0.100 6. David Reutimann Toyota 15.374 +0.118 7. Reed Sorenson Dodge 15.407 +0.151 8. Dave Blaney Toyota 15.411 +0.155 9. Jamie McMurray Ford 15.413 +0.157 10. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 15.441 +0.185 11. Scott Speed Toyota 15.450 +0.194 12. Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 15.458 +0.202 13. Marcos Ambrose Toyota 15.458 +0.202 14. David Gilliland Chevrolet 15.481 +0.225 15. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 15.487 +0.231 16. Todd Bodine Toyota 15.512 +0.256 17. Travis Kvapil Ford 15.517 +0.261 18. Aric Almirola Chevrolet 15.518 +0.262 19. Kyle Busch Toyota 15.521 +0.265 20. Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 15.523 +0.267 21. Michael Waltrip Toyota 15.529 +0.273 22. Elliott Sadler Dodge 15.532 +0.276 23. Joey Logano Toyota 15.534 +0.278 24. Denny Hamlin Toyota 15.538 +0.282 25. Sam Hornish Jr Dodge 15.546 +0.290 26. A.J.Allmendinger Dodge 15.546 +0.290 27. Brian Vickers Toyota 15.553 +0.297 28. Joe Nemechek Toyota 15.559 +0.303 29. Sterling Marlin Dodge 15.576 +0.320 30. David Stremme Dodge 15.585 +0.329 31. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 15.591 +0.335 32. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 15.596 +0.340 33. Kurt Busch Dodge 15.597 +0.341 34. Matt Kenseth Ford 15.622 +0.366 35. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 15.635 +0.379 36. Robby Gordon Toyota 15.637 +0.381 37. Bobby Labonte Ford 15.644 +0.388 38. Casey Mears Chevrolet 15.676 +0.420 39. Carl Edwards Ford 15.683 +0.427 40. John Andretti Chevrolet 15.696 +0.440 41. Scott Riggs Toyota 15.703 +0.447 42. Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 15.707 +0.451 43. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 15.734 +0.478 44. David Ragan Ford 15.739 +0.483 45. Paul Menard Ford 15.741 +0.485 
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