Martin Truex, Jr. Captures Career-First NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Pole at Texas Motor Speedway Seven Team Chevy Monte Carlo SS Drivers Score Top-10 Starting Spots for Dickies 500 Ft. Worth - Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats...
Martin Truex, Jr. Captures Career-First NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Pole at Texas Motor Speedway Seven Team Chevy Monte Carlo SS Drivers Score Top-10 Starting Spots for Dickies 500
Ft. Worth - Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Monte Carlo SS, captured his career-first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) Bud Pole at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS).
With a lap of 27.964 seconds, 193.105 M.P.H., Truex earned the right to lead the 43-car field to the green flag of the Dickies 500.
"I came up to speed, the car was real good in turns three and four," said Dale Earnhardt, Inc. driver Truex, Jr. "In turns one and two went really well, so I drove way down in to turn three and I actually got a little tight and never quite got to the bottom. I was a little worried, I didn't think it was going to be the lap that it was, I thought it was a little bit slower than that. I just have to hand it to all the guys on my team; they rebuilt this car from last week. It is my favorite car, it has been for a good part of the season. I just have to thank them for all the hard work getting it back together and making as good as new. I real proud of those guys today. I was a little surprised; there have been a few times when we were second or somewhere else in the top-10 when we thought we had a great shot at the pole. Today, I wasn't really sure. So it was great that it worked out for us."'
A total of seven Chevy Monte Carlo SS drivers scored top-10 starting positions for the 334-lap/501-mile race scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CST Sunday with live coverage on ABC TV.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS and current NNCS points leader, will start along side Truex on the front row. Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS will roll off fourth giving Team Chevy three of the top-five starting positions.
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Kinkos Monte Carlo SS, qualified seventh followed by Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Monte Carlo SS in eighth. Casey Mears put the No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Monte Carlo SS in the ninth starting position. Mark Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS, with roll of in the 10th position.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, Qualified 2nd:
"We were strong in practice and we knew we had a shot at it. It just came down to the adjustments going late like that. The track has some great grip and unfortunately to run at the pace we needed to beat Martin (Truex, Jr.), we needed to be just a little bit freer, outside front row, very happy with that. It was a very solid day for us. Front row starting position, good place on pit road, a car that is driving very well, so I am very happy."
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS, Qualified 4th:
"We left just a little bit out there on the table, so we knew we might get knocked off the pole, but still going to be an ok starting spot for us. The Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet has been strong right off the truck and I might not have done as much as I needed to do from my standpoint, but still a great lap. I have to say thanks to everybody in the engine shop. I am usually their biggest critic and they have done a lot of work since Charlotte just to make things better. Usually the first place that shows up is qualifying."
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Monte Carlo SS, qualified 8th:
"I really have no complaints. When I look at where the pole is, it is just a few hundredths faster from where I am. We were just joking inside there that this qualifying is a lot like a Bristol or Martinsville qualifying session with the top few guys being so close. The car drove great and certainly good lap for us.
"It is too early to tell if this car can do what it did last week at Atlanta. The way this championship battle is going, it got to be that strong or else we won't be the champions. Our teammate (Jeff Gordon) is making me drive my hardest, making the team perform at its highest and we are here to win the race.
"Racing against Jeff and the 24 team is similar to racing ourselves. When it comes down to driving styles and what goes on in the race, Jeff and I certainly are different drivers and look for different things. I know what he has for a setup, I know what he has. We have looked at each other's data traces for so many years and worked with each other so much at test sessions and at the race tracks, that we know each other styles. When I see Jeff faster, I know there is a few changes I can make that will help me in the car and Jeff does the same. It is really making each team perform at its highest right now in the fight for this championship."
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS, Qualified 12th:
"We were just real tight. Went down in the corner and lost the front-end in the center running around the bottom. I couldn't get back in the gas. I thought we could get the pole or the top-three or the top-five even as early as we went, because we were so good in practice. Everything was virtually the same except the set of tires so there is really no explanation."
-credit: gm racing