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Truex and Martin lock up front row for Daytona 500

Rest of field set in Thursday Qualifiers
Sunday, February 08, 2009

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Daytona 500 pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. (right) and outside pole sitter Mark Martin celebrate their front row starting positions.
Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

The newly-formed Earnhardt Ganassi Racing made quite an impression in the team's debut as Martin Truex, Jr. and Mark Martin locked up front row starting spots for next Sunday's 51st running of the Daytona 500 in Sunday's qualifying session at Daytona International Speedway.

Chevrolet drivers dominated, taking 8 of the 10 fastest qualifying positions.  The first 4 are Chevy drivers.

Woe to the poor drivers in Dodges as most are mired in the back.

Truex earned the pole by turning a lap at 188.001 mph in a Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. The team is a merged effort of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing, organizations that joined together in late November when sponsorship difficulties threatened their race teams.

"That was exciting for all of us," Truex said after the last of 56 cars made their qualifying attempt.

"This is the first time we've come down here and felt like we had a shot at the pole here. It's a big deal, the Daytona 500, starting on the pole. We've got a lot of hard work in front of us this week still, but I'm excited for all the guys. It's a great way to start out the season."

It's only the second pole of Truex's career.

Martin, meanwhile, turned a lap at 187.817 in a Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. The 50-year-old veteran is returning to full-time racing this season after running a partial schedule the past two years.

“Everybody on this race team is so charged up,” Martin said. “It’s just so fun to go to work every day and I’m glad it’s just about ready to start.”

Bill Elliott in the Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford was the fastest of the non Top 35 qualifiers with a lap of 187.739 mph.

“I think it says it on the board," Elliott said after the run. "We’re the fastest of the Fords and that was a very impressive run as far as we’re concerned. It’s kind of a double-edged sword being that we didn’t get the pole, but there again, we’re out of the top 35 in points and we needed a good, solid run, so that’s kind of where we need to be.”

Results

Pos

No. Driver Make Time Speed +Time -Speed
1 1 Martin Truex Jr.  Chevrolet 47.872 188.001 0.000 0.000
2 5 Mark Martin  Chevrolet 47.919 187.817 0.047 0.184
3 39 Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 47.929 187.778 0.057 0.223
4 42 Juan Pablo Montoya  Chevrolet 47.938 187.743 0.066 0.258
5 21 Bill Elliott  Ford 47.939 187.739 0.067 0.262
6 48 Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 47.942 187.727 0.070 0.274
7 8 Aric Almirola  Chevrolet 47.962 187.649 0.090 0.352
8 28 Travis Kvapil  Ford 47.981 187.574 0.109 0.427
9 24 Jeff Gordon  Chevrolet 48.025 187.402 0.153 0.599
10 14 Tony Stewart  Chevrolet 48.042 187.336 0.170 0.665
11 96 Bobby Labonte  Ford 48.074 187.211 0.202 0.790
12 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 48.108 187.079 0.236 0.922
13 98 Paul Menard  Ford 48.117 187.044 0.245 0.957
14 78 Regan Smith  Chevrolet 48.148 186.924 0.276 1.077
15 18 Kyle Busch  Toyota 48.155 186.896 0.283 1.105
16 16 Greg Biffle  Ford 48.157 186.889 0.285 1.112
17 82 Scott Speed  Toyota 48.169 186.842 0.297 1.159
18 00 David Reutimann  Toyota 48.173 186.827 0.301 1.174
19 87 Joe Nemechek  Toyota 48.178 186.807 0.306 1.194
20 20 Joey Logano  Toyota 48.192 186.753 0.320 1.248
21 33 Clint Bowyer  Chevrolet 48.199 186.726 0.327 1.275
22 17 Matt Kenseth  Ford 48.228 186.614 0.356 1.387
23 26 Jamie McMurray  Ford 48.255 186.509 0.383 1.492
24 11 Denny Hamlin  Toyota 48.27 186.451 0.398 1.550
25 99 Carl Edwards  Ford 48.286 186.389 0.414 1.612
26 6 David Ragan  Ford 48.29 186.374 0.418 1.627
27 43 Reed Sorenson  Dodge 48.369 186.07 0.497 1.931
28 19 Elliott Sadler  Dodge 48.37 186.066 0.498 1.935
29 47 Marcos Ambrose  Toyota 48.384 186.012 0.512 1.989
30 31 Jeff Burton  Chevrolet 48.398 185.958 0.526 2.043
31 36 Scott Riggs  Toyota 48.415 185.893 0.543 2.108
32 83 Brian Vickers  Toyota 48.424 185.858 0.552 2.143
33 55 Michael Waltrip  Toyota 48.438 185.805 0.566 2.196
34 44 AJ Allmendinger  Dodge 48.447 185.77 0.575 2.231
35 34 John Andretti  Chevrolet 48.494 185.59 0.622 2.411
36 09 Brad Keselowski  Chevrolet 48.499 185.571 0.627 2.430
37 9 Kasey Kahne  Dodge 48.513 185.517 0.641 2.484
38 7 Robby Gordon  Dodge 48.515 185.51 0.643 2.491
39 07 Casey Mears  Chevrolet 48.537 185.426 0.665 2.575
40 12 David Stremme  Dodge 48.546 185.391 0.674 2.610
41 08 Boris Said  Ford 48.549 185.38 0.677 2.621
42 2 Kurt Busch  Dodge 48.549 185.38 0.677 2.621
43 41 Jeremy Mayfield  Toyota 48.627 185.082 0.755 2.919
44 77 Sam Hornish Jr.  Dodge 48.628 185.079 0.756 2.922
45 27 Kirk Shelmerdine  Toyota 48.687 184.854 0.815 3.147
46 71 Mike Wallace  Chevrolet 48.689 184.847 0.817 3.154
47 37 Tony Raines  Dodge 48.885 184.106 1.013 3.895
48 73 Mike Garvey  Dodge 48.912 184.004 1.040 3.997
49 29 Kevin Harvick  Chevrolet 49.019 183.602 1.147 4.399
50 66 Terry Labonte  Toyota 49.439 182.043 1.567 5.958
51 75 Derrike Cope  Dodge 49.445 182.02 1.573 5.981
52 23 Mike Skinner  Chevrolet 49.47 181.928 1.598 6.073
53 51 Kelly Bires  Dodge 49.532 181.701 1.660 6.300
54 46 Carl Long  Dodge 49.715 181.032 1.843 6.969
55 64 Geoffrey Bodine  Toyota 49.776 180.81 1.904 7.191
56 57 Norm Benning  Chevrolet 50.734 177.396 2.862 10.605

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