By AMANDA VINCENT
Martin Truex Jr. claimed his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole of the 2016 race season and his second-straight on a mile-and-a-half track on Thursday when he turned in a 28.077-second/192.328 mph lap in the third and final round of qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. It’s his first-career pole at Charlotte.
“Just excited for all my guys and for Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Boats, Furniture Row, Denver Mattress and everybody that works so hard on this deal — Toyota Racing, TRD (Toyota Racing Development) — just awesome race cars. We had to work hard today; we were not that good in practice and made a lot of changes throughout this qualifying session. Hats off to my guys for some really good work and lucky to be with this group, for sure.”
After posting the fastest laps in the first two rounds of the qualifying sessions, with a 28.224-second/191.327 mph lap in round one and a 28.159-second/191.768 mph lap in round two, Joey Logano was second to Truex in the third round, and therefore, will start next to Truex on the front row for Sunday’s green flag.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Denny Hamlin will share row two on the starting grid after posting the third and fourth-fastest lap times in the final round, while Brad Keselowski will roll off fifth.
With Toyota and Ford drivers claiming the top-six starting positions. Jimmie Johnson was the highest-qualifying Chevrolet driver, coming in seventh in round three.
Here’s a look at the full starting grid for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
Row 1 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 2 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 3 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford)
Row 4 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet)
Row 5 — Carl Edwards (No. 19 Toyota), Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford)
Row 6 — Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet)
Row 8 — A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota)
Row 9 — Casey Mears (No. 13 Chevroelt), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 10 — Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet), Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford)
Row 11 — Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet), Chris Buescher (No. 34 Ford)
Row 12 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet), Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota), Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet)
Row 15 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Brian Scott (No. 44 Ford)
Row 16 — Regan Smith (No. 7 Chevrolet), Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Landon Cassill (No. 38 Ford), Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota)
Row 18 — David Ragan (No. 23 Toyota), Cole Whitt (No. 98 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Josh Wise (No. 30 Chevrolet), Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet)
Row 10 — Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 32 Ford), Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Chevrolet)
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