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Truex nips Kahne to take Atlanta Pole

by Pete McCole
Saturday, September 05, 2009

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Martin Truex Jr.
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com

Martin Truex, Jr. won his second Sprint Cup pole of the season on Saturday, posting the fastest lap in the qualifying session for Sunday’s Pep Boys Auto 500 Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Truex was one of the last of the top 35 drivers to take a lap on the 1.5-mile tri-oval, and put up a top lap of 184.189 mph in the no. 1 Guitar Hero Chevrolet to knock Kasey Kahne off the top spot and secure his third career Sprint Cup pole.

Kahne held on to the second position in the no. 9 Budweiser Dodge. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five qualifiers.

“We had a good car in practice, the guys made some changes and we worked real hard on it in practice,” said Truex, Jr. “We got a good draw and everything worked out for us.”

Truex’s effort was one of the few bright spots for him and his Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team. After starting thee season winning the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500, the team has managed just three top-10 finishes while dropping to 23rd in the series points.

Faced with lingering doubts about the team’s stability and sponsorship issues going into the 2010 season, Truex opted to leave the team for a ride with Michael Waltrip Racing for next season.

“It has been one heck of a tough season, but these guys never give up,” said Truex. “I just want to thank them again for their hard work. We've had some great runs. We've really worked hard this year and we don't have a lot of results to show for it and that's frustrating. And that's the big reason why I would really like to get them in victory lane.

“I just want to go out on a high note for them and for all they've done for me and for all the work we've put in this year just trying to get the results that I feel like they deserve. Hopefully we can finish the deal off this weekend for them. I sure would like to get them in victory lane before the year is out.”

Kurt Busch, winner of the race here in March, will roll off sixth, followed by Mark Martin, Brian Vickers, David Stremme and Denny Hamlin.

Patrick Carpentier, Tony Raines and Regan Smith failed to qualify for the event.

Results

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Guitar Hero 184.149 30.106 Leader
2 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 183.497 30.213 -0.107
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 183.358 30.236 -0.130
4 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 182.995 30.296 -0.190
5 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Pedigree 182.771 30.333 -0.227
6 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 182.729 30.340 -0.234
7 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Carquest / Kellogg's 182.609 30.360 -0.254
8 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 182.501 30.378 -0.272
9 12 David Stremme Dodge Penske Racing 182.416 30.392 -0.286
10 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota Farm Bureau Insurance 182.213 30.426 -0.320
11 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota Clorox / Kingsford / Bush's Beans 182.003 30.461 -0.355
12 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Old Spice 181.884 30.481 -0.375
13 43 Reed Sorenson Dodge U.S. Air Force 181.848 30.487 -0.381
14 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac Cancer Center 181.675 30.516 -0.410
15 17 Matt Kenseth Ford R+L Carriers 181.645 30.521 -0.415
16 6 David Ragan Ford UPS 181.639 30.522 -0.416
17 21 David Gilliland Ford Motorcraft 181.449 30.554 -0.448
18 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 181.414 30.560 -0.454
19 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 181.414 30.560 -0.454
20 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T 181.348 30.571 -0.465
21 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Stanley Tools 181.325 30.575 -0.469
22 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 181.301 30.579 -0.473
23 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army 181.247 30.588 -0.482
24 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar / Cat Financial 181.236 30.590 -0.484
25 171 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 181.129 30.608 -0.502
26 16 Greg Biffle Ford American Red Cross / 3M 181.046 30.622 -0.516
27 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 180.651 30.689 -0.583
28 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 180.522 30.711 -0.605
29 7 Robby Gordon Toyota Polaris Off-Road Vehicles 180.457 30.722 -0.616
30 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1 180.416 30.729 -0.623
31 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / Amp Energy 180.369 30.737 -0.631
32 82 Scott Speed* Toyota Red Bull 180.152 30.774 -0.668
33 07 Casey Mears Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 180.047 30.792 -0.686
34 20 Joey Logano* Toyota The Home Depot 179.988 30.802 -0.696
35 44 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Hunt Brothers Pizza 179.971 30.805 -0.699
36 187 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 179.901 30.817 -0.711
37 66 Dave Blaney Toyota Prism Motorsports 179.673 30.856 -0.750
38 09 Mike Bliss Dodge Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 179.586 30.871 -0.765
39 113 Max Papis* Toyota GEICO 179.505 30.885 -0.779
40 34 John Andretti Chevrolet Taco Bell 179.400 30.903 -0.797
41 98 Paul Menard Ford Johns Manville / Menards 178.804 31.006 -0.900
42 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 178.574 31.046 -0.940
43 08 Terry Labonte Toyota Carter / Simo Racing 177.681 31.202 -1.096
44 36 Patrick Carpentier Toyota Wave Energy Drink 177.669 31.204 -1.098
45 37 Tony Raines Dodge Long John Silver's 176.089 31.484 -1.378
46 96 Erik Darnell Ford Academy Sports + Outdoors 174.488 31.773 -1.667

+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie

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