Qualifying results at Pocono as Martin Truex Jr. wins pole
Martin Truex won the pole for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400, as Toyota’s utter domination of NASCAR continued during Friday afternoon time trials at Pocono Raceway.
Truex claimed the No. 1 qualifying spot at the three-turn, 2.5-mile track with a lap of 179.244 miles per hour in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. It was the third pole of the year and the 10th of his career for the Mayetta, N.J., native.
And the competition should be very worried about Sunday. Truex won at Pocono last year and this time he is driving the same car that in May he won the Coca-Cola 600 with, a car that led 392 of 400 laps to set a NASCAR record with.
“This is the car we had at Charlotte,” said Truex. “Something about it just feels right to me.”
And with the pole, Truex will get the No. 1 pit box at the end of Pocono’s long pit road.
“That’s a huge advantage,” Truex said. “Looking forward to Sunday. The car’s been really good today.
Carl Edwards made it an all-Toyota front row, putting his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on the outside of Row 1 with a lap of 178.873 mph.
Paul Menard qualified third in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, his best qualifying effort in the last 82 races and his first time out with new crew chief Danny Stockman.
“Well we have got some new stuff that we have been working on as a company and everything it’s never ending,” said Stockman, who has never had a full-time Sprint Cup crew chief job before. “We’ve got to stay ahead of that curve.”
Denny Hamlin wound up fourth in another JGR Toyota, with Ryan Newman fifth in a second RCR Chevy.
The start of qualifying was delayed about 20 minutes because of a malfunction earlier in the day with NASCAR’s inspection equipment.
Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch was one of the last cars through tech inspection and was not able to make it on track until about the final six minutes of the 20-minute first round of practice.
Busch, who has never won at Pocono, wound up qualifying 16th, one position ahead of 2014 champion Kevin Harvick.
Four-time champ Jeff Gordon could manage only 24th in qualifying, three spots behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, six-time title holder Jimmie Johnson.
Danica Patrick was the biggest name who failed to advance out of the first round. She’ll start Sunday’s race in 26th place.
Check out the row-by-row starting lineup for this Sunday’s race as set by Friday’s qualifying results below.