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Martin nips Montoya for Allstate 400 pole

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Saturday, July 25, 2009

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Mark Martin earned the Coors Light pole award for the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR
Mark Martin stayed atop the speed charts for a second consecutive day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, this time winning the pole for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

Martin's lap of 49.436 seconds, 182.054 mph in Hendrick Motorsports' No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet was more than 1 mph faster than second-place qualifier Juan Pablo Montoya, and Martin became the oldest pole winner of a major event in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history.

Martin's age of 50 years, 197 days old eclipses the previous record set by Cliff Bergere, who was 49 years, 175 days old when he won the pole for the 1946 Indianapolis 500. The previous Allstate 400 at the Brickyard record was set by Jimmy Spencer, when he won the pole at age 44 years, 171 days in 2001.

"I like making history; that's cool," Martin said. "Yesterday was a lot of fun for me. We struggled through race trim practice and then we went into Q (qualifying) trim and we made improvements. We made three qualifying runs, the last one was about 10 minutes left of practice, (and) we went to the top of the board. You should have seen the light in all my guys' faces.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself to get a good lap today so that I wouldn't let them down."

Martin previously started second at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard three times - in 1996, 1999 and 2008.

The 160-lap, 400-mile race starts at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday. ESPN and the IMS Radio Network will provide live coverage.

Montoya equaled his best Allstate 400 at the Brickyard start with his second-place effort of 180.803 in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. He started and finished second in 2007, his rookie year in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing.

In what could be a good omen for Montoya, he is driving a Target Chevrolet painted in the same scheme as the IndyCar in which he won the 2000 Indianapolis 500 - after qualifying second. He also remains the only driver in history to start the Indianapolis 500, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Formula One race, and Montoya is eager to leave his mark as winner of another form of racing at IMS.

"Started twice second, so we'll see," he said, "From practice, we have probably the fastest car. But not always the fastest car wins.  I think today if I looked at it, I'd rather win this than the Formula One race here, to be honest. I think it's a bigger deal."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. also equaled his career-best qualifying effort of third at the 2.5-mile IMS oval with a lap of 180.567 in the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet despite suffering from a stomach virus, while Bill Elliott set a record with his fourth-place qualifying speed of 180.357 in the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford. It is Elliott's ninth top-10 start at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the most of any driver.

David Reutimann completed the top five starters with a lap of 180.216 in the No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota. It's his best career start at IMS.

Qualifying was delayed almost three hours due to heavy rains in the morning, but the full field qualified under mostly sunny, warm conditions. Ryan Newman led final practice at 176.706 in the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet.

Among the drivers with Indiana ties, Sprint Cup Series points leader and two-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Tony Stewart will start seventh in the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, Newman qualified 17th in the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, David Stremme will start 21st in the No. 12 Penske Dodge, four-time "400" winner Jeff Gordon qualified 22nd in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet and John Andretti, who also competed in the2009 Indianapolis 500, will start 35th in the No. 34 Taco Bell Chevrolet.

Three drivers failed to qualify for the race: Sterling Marlin, Max Papis and Derrike Cope.

Results

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Carquest / Kellogg's 182.054 49.436 Leader
2 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 180.803 49.778 -0.342
3 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 180.567 49.843 -0.407
4 21 Bill Elliott Ford Motorcraft 180.357 49.901 -0.465
5 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 180.216 49.940 -0.504
6 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 180.112 49.969 -0.533
7 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Old Spice / Office Depot 179.964 50.010 -0.574
8 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 179.867 50.037 -0.601
9 43 Reed Sorenson Dodge Valvoline 179.809 50.053 -0.617
10 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 179.773 50.063 -0.627
11 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota Little Debbie / Kingsford / Clorox 179.763 50.066 -0.630
12 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M Pistonz Ear Plugs 179.712 50.080 -0.644
13 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Guitar Hero 179.709 50.081 -0.645
14 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Office 179.684 50.088 -0.652
15 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1 179.404 50.166 -0.730
16 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 179.354 50.180 -0.744
17 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Haas Automation 179.308 50.193 -0.757
18 20 Joey Logano* Toyota The Home Depot 179.126 50.244 -0.808
19 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 179.026 50.272 -0.836
20 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Snickers 178.923 50.301 -0.865
21 12 David Stremme Dodge Penske Racing 178.919 50.302 -0.866
22 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 178.699 50.364 -0.928
23 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 178.045 50.549 -1.113
24 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 178.010 50.559 -1.123
25 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Dewalt 177.989 50.565 -1.129
26 82 Scott Speed* Toyota Red Bull 177.746 50.634 -1.198
27 07 Casey Mears Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 177.469 50.713 -1.277
28 98 Paul Menard Ford Johns Manville / Menards 177.417 50.728 -1.292
29 6 David Ragan Ford UPS 177.294 50.763 -1.327
30 187 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 177.284 50.766 -1.330
31 96 Bobby Labonte Ford Ask.com 177.228 50.782 -1.346
32 7 Robby Gordon Toyota Johns Manville / Menards 176.974 50.855 -1.419
33 44 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Hunt Brothers Pizza 176.936 50.866 -1.430
34 66 Dave Blaney Toyota Prism Motorsports 176.502 50.991 -1.555
35 34 John Andretti Chevrolet Taco Bell 176.346 51.036 -1.600
36 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 176.218 51.073 -1.637
37 171 David Gilliland Chevrolet TRG Motorsports 176.170 51.087 -1.651
38 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Prilosec OTC / Wal-Mart 176.167 51.088 -1.652
39 36 Mike Skinner Toyota Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich 175.994 51.138 -1.702
40 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 175.428 51.303 -1.867
41 99 Carl Edwards+ Ford Aflac 175.179 51.376 -1.940
42 19 Elliott Sadler+ Dodge Best Buy 171.976 52.333 -2.897
43 08 Terry Labonte Toyota Carter / Simo Racing Champion's Provisional
Did Not Qualify
44 09 Sterling Marlin Dodge Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 175.723 51.217 -1.781
45 113 Max Papis* Toyota GEICO 175.346 51.327 -1.891
46 175 Derrike Cope Dodge FlipnBags.com 170.765 52.704 -3.268

+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie

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