Michal Waltrip Racing's Truex Jr. claims his 7th NSCS career pole
Martin Truex Jr. claimed the seventh pole of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career and only his second top-10 starting spot of 2012 by turning a 28.366-second lap in the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota during pole qualifying Friday evening for the Samsung Mobile 500 to be held at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
"It just means a lot for me to get a pole for these guys," Truex said at the end of the qualifying session. "We've come a long way. We're going to go now and celebrate this for a little bit."
Matt Kenseth grabbed the second starting spot in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford with a lap time of 28.399 seconds. Greg Biffle was third in the No. 16 Roush Racing Ford after making a 28.403-second lap.
Prior to Kenseth's qualifying attempt, Ford was shut out of the top-10 provisional starting spots. But after getting his Ford into the top-five, he was joined by teammate Biffle.
Mark Martin joined his MWR teammate, Truex in the top-five on the starting grid after turning in a 28.418-second lap in the No. 55 Toyota that was good enough for the fourth starting spot.
Drivers fought a crosswind at the turn three and four end of the race track throughout the qualifying session that slowed cars down significantly after they got good grip in turns one and two.
"It's a matter of not over-driving that corner (three and four) and getting on the bottom," Biffle said of surviving the wind. Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five in qualifying with a lap time of 28.476 seconds in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
The highest qualifying Dodge was the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge of Brad Keselowski. Keselowski turned in a 28. 514-second lap, good enough for eighth.
Qualifying ahead of Keselowski were Ryan Newman, who was sixth with a lap time of 28.497 in the No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, and Marcos Ambrose, who qualified seventh with a lap time of 28.501 seconds in the No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford.
Forty-six drivers attempted to claim the 43 spots available on the starting grid for Saturday night's race. The three drivers left without a starting spot at the end of qualifying on Friday were Stacy Compton, Joe Nemechek and David Stremme. The TMS did not qualify (DNQ) for Stremme was his first of the season.