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 -


shares
comments
Talladega NASCAR: Keselowski wins but Johnson and Earnhardt out

Previous article

Talladega NASCAR: Keselowski wins but Johnson and Earnhardt out

Next article

Martinsville NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr fends off Jeff Gordon

Martinsville NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr fends off Jeff Gordon
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Drivers Jamie McMurray
Author Mark Glendenning
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

NASCAR
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

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

NASCAR
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

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020