Jamie McMurray has come through to win pole at NASCAR’s tightest track – the ‘Paperclip’ at Martinsville.
McMurray set a new qualifying record 160.782km/h (99.905 mph), edging Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth. Five of the eight drivers still in contention to win the title will start inside the top-10.
Despite not majing the Chase for the Sprint Cup, McMurray has shown plenty of speed throughout the year with Martinsville being his second pole of the seaason.
“It’s a big weekend for me,” said McMurray.
“Our cars have been so quick, really the past two or three months. We’ve run well enough to win, and that’s as important to me as getting to victory lane.”
Joey Logano keen to make the most of his front row starting position.
“It’s not first, but we were close to it,” said Logano.
“Jamie laid down a hell of a lap there. … Overall, I thought it went well. We just came up a little short.”
A tough session for championship contender Kevin Harvick, who scraped the wall during both of his attempts. He will start toward the back of the field at a venue where track position is crucial.
“We just missed it today,” said Harvick.
“We were way too loose. … We have to get better (Saturday in practice) and be ready to go on Sunday.”
Australia’s Marcos Ambrose will start from 27th.
“This is a tough track to get a good lap,” said Ambrose.
“You have to handle extremely well to put up a fast time. We were just a bit off today.
“I think our race trim is good for Sunday, so hopefully, we can work our way through the field for another Top-Five finish at Martinsville.”
QUALIFYING: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 – Martinsville Speedway
|2||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil||99.605||19.011||–0.057|
|3||20||Matt Kenseth||Dollar General||99.318||19.066||–0.112|
|4||14||Tony Stewart||Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1||99.297||19.070||–0.116|
|5||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Freight||99.266||19.076||–0.122|
|6||2||Brad Keselowski||Alliance Truck Parts||99.240||19.081||–0.127|
|8||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s Halloween||99.209||19.087||–0.133|
|9||31||Ryan Newman||Quicken Loans||98.836||19.159||–0.205|
|10||41||Kurt Busch||Haas Automation||98.620||19.201||–0.247|
|11||99||Carl Edwards||Ford Ecoboost Fusion||98.553||19.214||–0.260|
|12||15||Clint Bowyer||AAA Insurance||98.328||19.258||–0.304|
|13||24||Jeff Gordon||Drive to End Hunger||98.841||19.158||–0.204|
|17||55||Brian Vickers||Aaron’s Dream Machine||98.625||19.200||–0.246|
|18||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Roush Fenway Racing ‘Pit for a Pair’ Fusion||98.589||19.207||–0.253|
|20||13||Casey Mears||No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS||98.466||19.231||–0.277|
|22||51||Justin Allgaier||Auto-Owners Insurance||98.338||19.256||–0.302|
|23||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||National Guard||98.333||19.257||–0.303|
|24||5||Kasey Kahne||Great Clips||98.282||19.267||–0.313|
|26||78||Martin Truex Jr||Furniture Row||98.200||19.283||–0.329|
|28||40||Landon Cassill||Newtown Building Supplies||98.089||19.305||–0.351|
|29||34||David Ragan||WENDELL SCOTT HOF TRIBUTE||98.073||19.308||–0.354|
|30||10||Danica Patrick||GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness||97.906||19.341||–0.387|
|31||36||Reed Sorenson||Zing Zang Chevrolet||97.886||19.345||–0.391|
|33||4||Kevin Harvick||Outback Steak House||97.835||19.355||–0.401|
|34||38||David Gilliland||A&W All American Food||97.785||19.365||–0.411|
|35||98||Josh Wise||Phil Parsons Racing||97.729||19.376||–0.422|
|36||26||Cole Whitt||Uponor Plumbing Systems||97.694||19.383||–0.429|
|37||7||Michael Annett||Allstate Peterbuilt Group||97.322||19.457||–0.503|
|38||93||Clay Rogers||Burger King||96.770||19.568||–0.614|
|39||33||Travis Kvapil||Little Joe’s Autos Chevrolet||96.696||19.583||–0.629|
|41||44||Timmy Hill||Phoenix Warehouse||96.029||19.719||–0.765|