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 
Cup drivers critical of F1 points system
Previous article

Cup drivers critical of F1 points system

Next article

Harvick wins Bristol Nationwide race

Harvick wins Bristol Nationwide race
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

Feb 11, 2021