Joey Logano wanted the No. 1 pit stall for the Goody’s Headache 500 at Martinsville Speedway — and he delivered in qualifying on Friday.
Coming off of his third win last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Logano posted the top speed of 98.548 mph to earn his second pole at the half-mile track in as many races.
“It’s an amazing run we’re on right now,” Logano said after posting his 14th career Sprint Cup pole. “This Shell-Pennzoil team is unbelievable. I’m just the lucky guy that gets to drive this thing right now.
“It’s so much fun. We’re doing everything right, right now but all that can end in a blink of an eye so we’ve got to keep our focus. Starting first here — anywhere here at Martinsville pays a lot bigger than most race tracks. Having a great pit stall and staying up towards front — as well as keeping your fenders on the car is important. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys as I am right now.”
Best of the rest
The Chevys of Martin Truex Jr. (98.487 mph), AJ Allmendinger (98.068 mph), Jamie McMurray (98.007 mph) and Jeff Gordon (97.896 mph) rounded out the top-five qualifiers. Gordon, who will make his 46th and final start at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, was surprised his lap did not provide a better result.
“Good job guys,” Gordon said. “Not sure what we’re missing there, it felt pretty decent.”
Kyle Busch (97.850 mph), Ryan Newman (97.724 mph), Aric Almirola (97.684 mph), Kyle Larson (97.618 mph), Denny Hamlin (97.503 mph), Brad Keselowski (97.448 mph) and Kevin Harvick (97.347 mph) will complete rows three through six.
With just over two minutes remaining in the session, Joey Logano jumped to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 98.800 mph.
Kevin Harvick (98.466 mph), Jeff Gordon (98.420 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (98.415 mph), Jamie McMurray (98.354 mph) and Denny Hamlin (98.129 mph) were among the fastest six in the second round of time trials.
AJ Allmendinger (98.104 mph), Kyle Busch (97.967 mph), Kyle Larson (97.962 mph), Aric Almirola (97.926 mph), Ryan Newman (97.921mph) and Brad Keselowski (97.911 mph) all transferred to the final round.
Chasers Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch (15th) failed to transfer to the third segment.
“I just wasn't fast enough the first run,” said Edwards, who will start 14th but didn’t seem concerned. “It’s a lot easier to pass guys on pit road than it is on the race track and my guys are amazing.”
After three laps, Jamie McMurray jumped to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 98.599 mph (19.205-sec.) early in the session.
Clint Bowyer (98.308 mph), Carl Edwards (98.297 mph), Kevin Harvick (98.145 mph), Joey Logano (98.119 mph) and AJ Allmendinger (98.109 mph) posted the six fastest laps.
Jeff Gordon (98.007 mph), Matt Kenseth (98.007 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (98.002 mph) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. represented the 10 qualifying attempts.
“Damn, it took me a long time to get there,” Earnhardt said after running four laps to obtain a speed of 97.931 mph. “It drives way better. I feel like I need to turn better — I just don’t know how better it’s going to turn.”
Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Danica Patrick and Kyle Larson rounded out the top 15 qualifying in Round 1. Chasers Kurt Busch (97.780 mph) and Brad Keselowski (97.724 mph) posted the 18th and 20th fastest times, respectively.
The first round of qualifying was delayed at the 6:18 mark after Kasey Kahne lost the back end of his car and plowed into the wall between Turns 1 and 2. The No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports was forced to pull out a back up car for Kahne. He will start from the rear of the field on Sunday.
“I ruined a pretty good car,” Kahne said. “First two laps felt okay, but I felt that I needed more speed so I held it out too late, turned in. It broke and I lifted off the throttle, like everything at once. It wheel-hopped it and its totally screwed up. We had a good Great Clips Chevrolet in practice and I knew it was just a matter of doing it right.”
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