Joey Logano's roll continues with pole-winning run at Martinsville
Red-hot Joey Logano continued to show blistering speed as he won the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the first race of NASCAR’s playoff semifinals.
Logano, who comes to Martinsville riding a three-race winning streak, lapped the sport’s oldest and shortest track at 98.548 miles per hour, good enough claim the top spot in the 43-car field.
“It’s an amazing run we’re on right now,” said Logano, who also won the pole at the spring race here. “This Shell Pennzoil team, they’re unbelievable. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive this thing right now. It’s so much fun. We’re doing everything right, but all that can end in a blink of an eye, so we’ve just got to keep our focus.
The pole was Logano’s sixth of the season and 14th of his career in 252 starts.
Qualifying on the outside of Row 1 was Martin Truex Jr.’s Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet at 98.487 mph. AJ Allmendinger, Jamie McMurray and Jeff Gordon completed the top five.
Carl Edwards (14th) and Kurt Busch (15th) were the only two Chase drivers to not advance to the final round of qualifying.
“We got behind on tires and that’s what set us back,” said Edwards. “… Our car was better here (in qualifying) than in practice. I’m excited about that.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., the defending race winner, will start 22nd on Sunday, on the outside of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson.
In the first of three rounds of time trials, Kasey Kahne spun and hit the wall, necessitating a move to a backup car. “I ruined a pretty good car,” said Kahne.
Also in the opening session, 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski tagged the wall, causing minor damage to his Team Penske Ford. All eight drivers still in championship contention, including Keselowski, were among the 24 who advanced to the second round of qualifying.
The Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 kicks off the three-race Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. After the third race of the round, four drivers will be eliminated from the championship and the remaining four will race for the series title at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 15.