Riggs Grabs First Pole at Martinsville

Scott Riggs captured the pole for Sunday's Nextel Cup short track race at the Martinsville Speedway. The No.10 Chevrolet grabbed the top spot with a lap of 19.588 seconds (96.671 mph) around the 0.528-mile oval

Riggs Grabs First Pole at Martinsville

The pole victory was the first of Riggs' Nextel Cup career. His previous best was a fourth-place on the starting grid which he accomplished three times in 2004.

"We just wanted to be in the top-five and have a good starting position and try to look at the big picture," said Riggs. "To get the pole is great for the guys, they needed this, and have worked awful hard every single week."

Starting on the front row with Riggs will be Ryan Newman who posted a second-best time of 19.591 seconds. Newman holds the track record at Martinsville with a time of 19.511 which he set last fall.

Jeremy Mayfield (19.606) and defending Advance Auto Parts 500 winner Rusty Wallace (19.611). Wallace has captured seven victories at the Martinsville Speedway and was one of the fastest cars on the track last week before a flat tire shortcircuited a trip to Victory Lane.

Last week's winner Kevin Harvick (19.648) was fifth quickest, while Jeff Gordon will start from 16th on the grid.

Gordon has posted five poles and eight top-five results in the last nine races at Martinsville. He has won the spring pole in each of the last four years and has a total of five wins. Gordon has been running at the finish in all 24 of his Martinsville starts, the longest streak without a DNF among the 599 drivers who have competed at Martinsville since 1949.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 26th on the grid.

Nextel Cup points leader and Gordon teammate Jimmie Johnson has also had some success at Martinsville, though not anywhere near as good as Gordon. After finishing 35th in his first start at Martinsville in 2002, he has scored five consecutive top-10s and won last October. But the No.48 Hendrick Chevrolet was a disappointing 37th.

"We thought we would be a little faster than that," said Johnson. "We came here with this setup and won the fall race. It just doesn't qualifying that well, but we have a great race car and we usually come from the back here at Martinsville."

Ricky Rudd, who has a Nextel Cup record consecutive start streak of 757, had to qualify on time to continue his streak. He made it in with ease on a time of 19.753, good enough for 13th on the grid.

"We kind of got ourselves in a box with the points situation, so we left a little on the table," said Rudd. "We went extra conservative today and might have another tenth in it."

Ken Schrader crashed on his second laps and will have to go to the backup car.

Qualifying results for the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway:

Pos  Driver              Team        Speed
 1.  Scott Riggs         Chevrolet   96.671mph
 2.  Ryan Newman         Dodge       96.657mph
 3.  Jeremy Mayfield     Dodge       96.583mph
 4.  Rusty Wallace       Dodge       96.558mph
 5.  Kevin Harvick       Chevrolet   96.376mph
 6.  Bobby Labonte       Chevrolet   96.259mph
 7.  Tony Stewart        Chevrolet   96.195mph
 8.  Greg Biffle         Ford        96.127mph
 9.  Kurt Busch          Ford        96.063mph
10.  Joe Nemechek        Chevrolet   96.015mph
11.  Ken Schrader        Dodge       95.917mph
12.  Jason Leffler       Chevrolet   95.888mph
13.  Ricky Rudd          Ford        95.864mph
14.  Jeff Green          Dodge       95.748mph
15.  Mike Bliss          Chevrolet   95.743mph
16.  Jeff Gordon         Chevrolet   95.728mph
17.  Travis Kvapil       Dodge       95.699mph
18.  Matt Kenseth        Ford        95.574mph
19.  Kyle Petty          Dodge       95.554mph
20.  Sterling Marlin     Dodge       95.458mph
21.  Kyle Busch          Chevrolet   95.28 mph
22.  Mark Martin         Ford        95.271mph
23.  Mike Wallace        Chevrolet   95.208mph
24.  Casey Mears         Dodge       95.194mph
25.  Elliott Sadler      Ford        95.17 mph
26.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet   95.127mph
27.  Brian Vickers       Chevrolet   95.089mph
28.  Bobby Hamilton Jr.  Chevrolet   95.046mph
29.  Jamie McMurray      Dodge       95.008mph
30.  Jeff Burton         Chevrolet   94.955mph
31.  Michael Waltrip     Chevrolet   94.917mph
32.  Dale Jarrett        Ford        94.865mph
33.  Scott Wimmer        Dodge       94.652mph
34.  Mike Garvey         Dodge       94.614mph
35.  Kasey Kahne         Dodge       94.562mph
36.  Carl Edwards        Ford        94.519mph
37.  Jimmie Johnson      Chevrolet   94.491mph
38.  Hermie Sadler       Ford        94.336mph
39.  Randy LaJoie        Chevrolet   94.129mph
40.  Johnny Sauter       Dodge       93.929mph
41.  Kevin Lepage        Dodge       93.53 mph
42.  Dave Blaney         Chevrolet   93.525mph
43.  Robby Gordon        Chevrolet   93.354mph

Did not Qualify:

44.  Stanton Barrett     Chevrolet   92.956mph
45.  Jeff Fuller         Dodge       92.833mph
46.  Kirk Shelmerdine    Ford        92.461mph
47.  Carl Long           Chevrolet   91.931mph

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