Truex Jr on Atlanta Cup pole

Martin Truex Jr claimed his second pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday night's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Truex Jr on Atlanta Cup pole

The Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver set a lap of 30.106 seconds late in the session, beating the previous benchmark set by Kasey Kahne.

Truex's pole is the third for his squad this year and their first of the season at a non-restrictor plate track, following poles from him at Daytona and from team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya at Talladega.

"We had a very good car in practice," said Truex. "We made a very nice run in practice there on [scrubbed tyres] and we ran just about our best time. I felt good with the car and, you know, we never got to qualify here in the daytime and we used to always be fast in the day and then we had to qualify at night and we could never pick up the speed.

"It's been one heck of a tough season, but the team has not given up and they've worked really hard to make our cars better and help the #42 [team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya] make the Chase. I think we've got a really good race car, and this is one of my favourite race tracks."

Kahne, who is currently 11th in the drivers standing and hopes to make the series' playoff, matched his best qualifying effort of the season with his second front-row starting position of the year.

Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson, who had been on provisional pole before Kahne, ended up third and his Hendrick team-mate Jeff Gordon will start alongside him.

The third row of the grid will be all-Busch with younger brother Kyle being fifth as the fastest Toyota and his brother Kurt, who won earlier this year at the track, ending up in sixth.

Former Cup champion Bobby Labonte was able to keep his streak of 569 consecutive starts alive after qualifying the #71 TRG Chevrolet 25th in his first race for the team. His replacement at Hall of Fame Racing, rookie Erik Darnell, will start his first Cup event from 42nd on the grid.

David Gilliland also succeeded at qualifying Wood Brother's #21 Ford in 17th place, filling in for former Cup champion Bill Elliot who recovers from cracked ribs he suffered in a motorcycle incident.

Regan Smith, Patrick Carpentier and Tony Raines failed to qualify for the first ever night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Pos Driver Make Speed Time 1. Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 184.149 30.106 2. Kasey Kahne Dodge 183.497 30.213 + 0.107 3. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 183.358 30.236 + 0.130 4. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 182.995 30.296 + 0.190 5. Kyle Busch Toyota 182.771 30.333 + 0.227 6. Kurt Busch Dodge 182.729 30.340 + 0.234 7. Mark Martin Chevrolet 182.609 30.360 + 0.254 8. Brian Vickers Toyota 182.501 30.378 + 0.272 9. David Stremme Dodge 182.416 30.392 + 0.286 10. Denny Hamlin Toyota 182.213 30.426 + 0.320 11. Marcos Ambrose Toyota 182.003 30.461 + 0.355 12. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 181.884 30.481 + 0.375 13. Reed Sorenson Dodge 181.848 30.487 + 0.381 14. Carl Edwards Ford 181.675 30.516 + 0.410 15. Matt Kenseth Ford 181.645 30.521 + 0.415 16. David Ragan Ford 181.639 30.522 + 0.416 17. David Gilliland Ford 181.449 30.554 + 0.448 18. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 181.414 30.560 + 0.454 19. Michael Waltrip Toyota 181.414 30.560 + 0.454 20. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 181.348 30.571 + 0.465 21. Elliott Sadler Dodge 181.325 30.575 + 0.469 22. Juan Montoya Chevrolet 181.301 30.579 + 0.473 23. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 181.247 30.588 + 0.482 24. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 181.236 30.590 + 0.484 25. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 181.129 30.608 + 0.502 26. Greg Biffle Ford 181.046 30.622 + 0.516 27. Jamie McMurray Ford 180.651 30.689 + 0.583 28. David Reutimann Toyota 180.522 30.711 + 0.605 29. Robby Gordon Toyota 180.457 30.722 + 0.616 30. Sam Hornish Jr Dodge 180.416 30.729 + 0.623 31. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 180.369 30.737 + 0.631 32. Scott Speed Toyota 180.152 30.774 + 0.668 33. Casey Mears Chevrolet 180.047 30.792 + 0.686 34. Joey Logano Toyota 179.988 30.802 + 0.696 35. AJ Allmendinger Dodge 179.971 30.805 + 0.699 36. Joe Nemechek Toyota 179.901 30.817 + 0.711 37. Dave Blaney Toyota 179.673 30.856 + 0.750 38. Mike Bliss Dodge 179.586 30.871 + 0.765 39. Max Papis Toyota 179.505 30.885 + 0.779 40. John Andretti Chevrolet 179.400 30.903 + 0.797 41. Paul Menard Ford 178.804 31.006 + 0.900 42. Regan Smith Chevrolet 178.574 31.046 + 0.940 43. Terry Labonte Toyota 177.681 31.202 + 1.096 
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