In blustery conditions at Texas Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. topped the speed chart in Friday's Sprint Cup qualifying session, winning the pole for Saturday's Samsung Mobile 500 at the 1.5-mile track.
The Coors Light pole award was Truex's first of the season, his second at Texas and the seventh of his career. The driver of the No. 56 Toyota posted a lap at 190.369 mph (28.366 seconds) to edge defending race winner Matt Kenseth (190.148 mph) for the top starting spot.
Kenseth was 0.004 seconds faster than third-place qualifier Greg Biffle, his teammate at Roush Fenway Racing and the series leader by six points over Dale Earnhardt Jr., who placed 16th in the time trials. Mark Martin (190.020 mph), Truex's teammate at Michael Waltrip Racing, qualified fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne (189.633 mph).
With the pole secure, Truex will try to win his first race since June 2007, when he claimed his only Cup victory at Dover.
"That's our main goal," said Truex, who is tied for third in the Cup standings with Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and defending series champion Tony Stewart. "This team's good enough. We can get to Victory Lane. We're going to do it soon. I feel good about this team. I'm just having so much fun coming to the race track and driving these cars.
"We're going to make them proud here pretty quick."
Stewart qualified 29th in a backup car after scraping the outside wall during the second lap of Friday's 90-minute practice session. The accident may have been a blessing in disguise for the Stewart, who found the backup No. 14 Chevrolet more responsive to adjustments than his primary car.
"I just got loose and didn't have enough race track to get it gathered up," Stewart said of the brush with the wall. "We haven't got a lot of laps on this one [the backup car], but I think we feel better with this one so far.
"It's doing everything that we were trying to get the other one to do … The top-tier teams, their backup cars are just as good as their primary cars, so definitely no concerns."
|1||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Auto Parts||190.369||28.366||Leader|
|2||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Best Buy||190.148||28.399||-0.033|
|3||16||Greg Biffle||Ford||3M Filtrete||190.121||28.403||-0.037|
|4||55||Mark Martin||Toyota||Aaron's 2011 Best of the Best||190.020||28.418||-0.052|
|5||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Farmers Insurance||189.633||28.476||-0.110|
|6||39||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||U.S. Army||189.494||28.497||-0.131|
|8||2||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||189.381||28.514||-0.148|
|9||1||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats||189.294||28.527||-0.161|
|10||48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Lowe's / Kobalt Tools||189.281||28.529||-0.163|
|11||27||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Quaker State / Menards||189.082||28.559||-0.193|
|12||22||AJ Allmendinger||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil||189.023||28.568||-0.202|
|13||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Office / March of Dimes||188.884||28.589||-0.223|
|14||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||Dollar General||188.805||28.601||-0.235|
|16||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard||188.442||28.656||-0.290|
|17||18||Kyle Busch||Toyota||Interstate Batteries||188.298||28.678||-0.312|
|18||15||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||5-hour Energy||188.291||28.679||-0.313|
|19||21||Trevor Bayne||Ford||Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center||188.186||28.695||-0.329|
|21||34||David Ragan||Ford||Scorpion Truck Bed Liners||187.872||28.743||-0.377|
|26||78||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row / Farm American||187.292||28.832||-0.466|
|27||51||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Phoenix Construction Services||187.182||28.849||-0.483|
|28||83||Landon Cassill||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper||187.110||28.860||-0.494|
|29||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy / Office Depot||186.994||28.878||-0.512|
|30||47||Bobby Labonte||Toyota||Bush's Baked Beans||186.981||28.880||-0.514|
|31||10||David Reutimann||Chevrolet||Accell Construction||186.664||28.929||-0.563|
|32||26||Josh Wise*||Ford||Morristown Driver's Service||186.361||28.976||-0.610|
|33||98||Michael McDowell||Ford||Curb Records||185.925||29.044||-0.678|
|34||24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||DuPont 20 Years||185.605||29.094||-0.728|
|36||249||J.J. Yeley||Toyota||JPO Absorbents||185.542||29.104||-0.738|
|37||93||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||Dr Pepper||185.191||29.159||-0.793|
|38||195||Scott Speed||Ford||Tommy Williams Drywall||185.122||29.170||-0.804|
|40||23||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||North Texas Pipe / Embassy Suites||184.748||29.229||-0.863|
|41||36||Dave Blaney+||Chevrolet||Jimmie Johnson's Anything With an Engine||183.275||29.464||-1.098|
|42||33||Tony Raines+||Chevrolet||Precon Marine||181.824||29.699||-1.333|
|43||119||Mike Bliss||Toyota||Humphrey Smith Racing||184.729||29.232||-0.866|
|–||–||–||–||Did Not Qualify||–||–||–|
|44||30||David Stremme||Toyota||Inception Motorsports||184.716||29.234||-0.868|
|45||87||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves||184.376||29.288||-0.922|
|46||74||Stacy Compton||Chevrolet||Turn One Racing||181.038||29.828||-1.462|