Truex came out as the last of 23 qualifiers and posted a fast lap of 193.424 mph – nearly a tenth of a second faster than the next quickest qualifier – knocking Jamie McMurray off the pole to score his career-best start in the event.
"It was a good day," said Truex. "The guys did a good job, made good adjustments for qualifying there and looking forward to tomorrow night."
McMurray ran a lap of 192.699 mph to take second, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya (192.342), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (192.280) and Casey Mears (190.880).
The 40-lap Sprint showdown will precede Saturday night's of running of the NASCAR Sprint All Star race, with the top two finishers transferring into the field for the Sprint All Star race along with the winner of the Fan Vote, who will take the last position in the field 22-car field.
Truex won the fan vote in 2005 and twice won the Showdown to advance to the all star field. He has four starts in the All Star race, with a best finish of second in 2010.
"Unfortunately I do have a lot of experience in this race," said Truex. "We do understand a little bit about how the race works, how it's probably gonna play out. We made a mistake last year by not pitting on the 20-lap caution and got beat by it, so I think this year we'll be ready for anything."Pete McCole