Martin Truex Jr. takes pole at Pocono
Martin Truex Jr. celebrates capturing the pole for the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on July 29, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
Martin Truex Jr. claimed the pole for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., by turning in a 50.211-second/179.244 mph lap in the third of three rounds of qualifying at the track on Friday. It’s his third pole of the season but his first-career pole at Pocono.
“It’s exciting for us; you know, anytime you win anything in this series, it’s a big deal,” Truex said. “Getting the pole today is awesome. We had a game plan coming here that we felt like we needed to qualify well to have a shot at winning on Sunday, and we were able to do so. Today was a success.”
Truex will share the front row with “corporate teammate,” Carl Edwards on Sunday.
“I guess the thing I’m most grateful for about the lap is coming across the line, I had the urge, because it was such a good lap, to say something on the radio like, ‘That’s it. That’s the pole.’ I’ve got to brag a little bit, but it wasn’t good enough, so I’m glad I didn’t say that,” Edwards said. “My lap was awesome, and Martin’s lap was spectacular, so congrats to them.”
Truex and Edwards were the top-two throughout the qualifying session, with Edwards posting the fastest lap in round one at 50.596 seconds/177.880 mph and Truex coming in second. But in both rounds two and three, Truex was fastest, turning in a 50.441-second/178.426 mph lap in round two. His pole-winning third-round lap of record was the fastest lap turned in by anyone over the course of the three-round qualifying session.
Here is the full starting grid for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway:
Row 1 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Carl Edwards (No. 19 Toyota)
Row 2 — Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 3 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet), Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet)
Row 4 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 5 — Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 6 — Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet), Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet), Ricky Stenhouse (No. 17 Ford)
Row 8 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota)
Row 9 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 10 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), Casey Mears (No. 13 Chevrolet)
Row 11 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Chris Buescher (No. 34 Ford)
Row 12 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Jeff Gordon (No. 88 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford), Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Chevrolet)
Row 15 — Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet), Regan Smith (No. 7 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford), Landon Cassill (No. 38 Ford)
Row 17 — David Ragan (No. 23 Toyota), Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota)
Row 18 — Brian Scott (No. 44 Ford), Cole Whitt (No. 98 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Jeb Burton (No. 32 Ford), Josh Wise (No. 30 Chevrolet)
Row 20 — Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet), Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Chevrolet)