By AMANDA VINCENT
Joey Logano has mastered NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. After turning in a 19.513-second/97.043 mph lap in the third of three rounds of qualifying at the track on Friday, Logano claimed his first Sprint Cup pole of 2016, but it was his third-straight Cup pole at Martinsville, taking the top spot for Sunday’s STP 500.
“I say all the time that Martinsville is the most important track to start up front, and that’s when you’ve got to come here and really show what you’ve got,” Logano said.
Logano dominated the qualifying session, sitting at the top of the scoring pylon at the end of each of the three rounds.
“Todd (Gordon, crew chief) does a great job with this Shell/Pennzoil Ford,” Logano said. “I get to drive this thing, and it’s so much fun every time we come here to Martinsville, especially in qualifying. We’ve got to figure out the race part. We haven’t got that grandfather clock (trophy for Martinsville wins) yet, but qualifying is something that Todd and I have wrapped our heads around and really understand what we have to do inside the race car and outside the race car.”
Kasey Kahne posted the second-fastest lap in the final round to claim the other front-row starting spot.
“This Great Clips Chevrolet was really fast,” Kahne said. “The guys did a nice job in practice and in qualifying. I just kept getting better with my laps. We didn’t make any adjustments. The car is fine. I feel good about the car, and we just need to work through it tomorrow in practice and get it driving the best we can for long runs.”
Below is the complete starting grid for the STP 500:
Row 1 — Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford), Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet)
Row 2 — Brian Vickers (No. 14 Chevrolet), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 3 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet), A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet)
Row 4 — Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 5 — Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 6 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 7 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford), Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford)
Row 8 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota)
Row 9 — Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet), Casey Mears (No. 13 Chevrolet)
Row 10 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet), Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford)
Row 11 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet), David Ragan (No. 23 Toyota)
Row 12 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Carl Edwards (No. 19 Toyota), Brian Scott (No. 44 Ford)
No. 14 — Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet)
Row 15 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Cole Whitt (No. 98 Chevrolet), Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford)
Row 17 — Landon Cassill (No. 38 Ford), Regan Smith (No. 7 Chevrolet)
Row 18 — Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota), Chris Buescher (No. 34 Ford)
Row 19 — Joey Gase (No. 32 Ford), Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet)
Row 20 — Josh Wise (No. 30 Chevrolet), Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Chevrolet)
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