Martinsville NASCAR: Jamie McMurray beats Chase drivers to pole

Jamie McMurray upstaged the Chase contenders to steal pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville

Martinsville NASCAR: Jamie McMurray beats Chase drivers to pole

The Ganassi racer was quickest in the opening qualifying round on Friday afternoon, but he needed two laps in the second round to get ahead of early leader Matt Kenseth and secure P1.

His 18.954s lap was a new qualifying record on Martinsville's half-mile layout, but was still only barely enough to prevent Penske's Joey Logano from beating him in the final minutes.

"It's a good start to our weekend, but the first pitstall here is a really big deal," McMurray said. "When the team told me the [lap] time I figured it would be tough to beat, although you never know because those Penske cars have been so quick this year."

Logano earned his eighth front-row start of the season as a consolation prize, as well as bragging rights as the highest-qualifying Chase driver for the first race in the three-round Eliminator leg of the championship run-off.

Kenseth was forced to settle for third on the grid alongside Tony Stewart.

Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski complete an all-Chase third row, leaving Ryan Newman (ninth) and Carl Edwards (11th) as the only other Chase drivers who survived through to the second qualifying round.

Jeff Gordon only narrowly missed out on progressing; the Hendrick driver being first outside the bubble in 13th.

"I thought the first lap might be enough that we could squeak our way in there," he said.

"We made a few adjustments but just couldn't get the drive out [of the corner]. I don't mind starting 13th, it's not a bad place to start. You just want that good pitstall, and that's what could hurt us."

It was a very different story for the final Chase driver Kevin Harvick, who was wildly off with his set-up in the first round, and then compounded his problems by brushing the wall. His race will begin from 33rd.

"We just missed it today," he said. "We were way too loose. We have to get better [in practice on Saturday] and be ready to go on Sunday."

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 18.954s -
2 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 19.011s 0.057s
3 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 19.066s 0.112s
4 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 19.070s 0.116s
5 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 19.076s 0.122s
6 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 19.081s 0.127s
7 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 19.083s 0.129s
8 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 19.087s 0.133s
9 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 19.159s 0.205s
10 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 19.201s 0.247s
11 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 19.214s 0.260s
12 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 19.258s 0.304s
13 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 19.158s -
14 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 19.163s -
15 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 19.164s -
16 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 19.196s -
17 Brian Vickers Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 19.200s -
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 19.207s -
19 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 19.231s -
20 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 19.231s -
21 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 19.235s -
22 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 19.256s -
23 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 19.257s -
24 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 19.267s -
25 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 19.280s -
26 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 19.283s -
27 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 19.300s -
28 Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 19.305s -
29 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 19.308s -
30 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 19.341s -
31 Reed Sorenson Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 19.345s -
32 Alex Bowman BK Racing Toyota 19.347s -
33 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 19.355s -
34 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 19.365s -
35 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Chevrolet 19.376s -
36 Cole Whitt Swan Racing Toyota 19.383s -
37 Michael Annett Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 19.457s -
38 Clay Rogers BK Racing Toyota 19.568s -
39 Travis Kvapil Circle Sport Chevrolet 19.583s -
40 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota 19.611s -
41 Timmy Hill Team Xtreme Racing Chevrolet 19.719s -
42 Kyle Fowler Go FAS Racing Ford 19.787s -
43 Mike Wallace Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 19.800s -


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