Share This Post


NASCAR Cup: Martin Truex Jr. on pole at Dover

Martin Truex Jr. celebrates winning the pole for the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 29, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Martin Truex Jr. celebrates winning the pole for the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 29, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).


Only one thing, or person, came between Kyle Busch and a third-straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole, a series-high ninth for the year at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Friday — Martin Truex Jr. Truex posted a 22.407-second/160.664 mph lap in the third of three rounds of qualifying at Dover on Friday to claim the pole for Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400, the elimination race of the first round of the playoffs. It was Truex’s second pole of the season, the 14th of his career and his third at Dover.

“Welp, I’m glad for once we’re first and he’s not,” Truex said. “I’ve been second to him a lot in qualifying, so it’s cool to – for us to get a pole. I think he was second, am I correct? Yeah, so it’s – we’ve been on the front row quite a few times together, so feels good that we’re the one in first this time, so it’s pretty cool.”

Busch qualified second for an all-Toyota front row.

“Hate it that we didn’t come out of here with our ninth pole of the season, but we’ll take it,” Busch said. “It’s a front row starting spot, but hopefully, it’ll be a good enough pit selection. Obviously, there’s no better position than number one. We’ve been on a really good roll here as of late with qualifying and everything like that for this year. The M&M’s Carmel Camry has got some good speed in it. I was a little  worried that I wasn’t going to have the speed that we needed to contend for a pole, but obviously, we had it here right now when it mattered. We’ll go back to the drawing board and work on race stuff for tomorrow.”

Busch was fastest in each of the first two rounds of qualifying and his22.388-second/160.800 mph lap in round two was the fastest, overall, of the three-round session.

Kyle Larson qualified third, making him the only non-Toyota driver in the top-six of the starting line-up.

“You always want to qualify well, especially here; pit selection is important and track position, as well,” Larson said. “So, the No. 78 (Truex) and the No. 18 (Busch) have been really good,  and we have been right with them, so we will work on race trim for tomorrow, and hopefully, be good on Sunday.”

Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Matt Kenseth, Daniel Suarez and Denny Hamlin qualified fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Just over half of the 16 playoff drivers, nine, got to the final round, or round of 12, in qualifying. Jamie McMurray, though, was the poorest performing playoff competitor in qualifying, managing only the 26th fastest lap in the opening round to be the only playoff driver not to advance in round two.

“We were just a little bit loose on entry, and I struggled to get the front to turn through the middle,  and then, as soon as I’d get to the throttle, I couldn’t push the gas down, because I would be loose,” McMurray said. “This is one of those places that requires a lot of throttle, and I don’t know. I thought our balance was actually really good in practice. We didn’t change a whole lot, but the track slowed down, and our car didn’t like that.”

Six other playoff drivers — Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Austin Dillon — failed to get beyond round two. Busch, though, barely missed the final round, qualifying 13th.

Here’s a look at the complete starting line-up for the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway:
Row 1 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota)
Row 2 — Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet), Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota)
Row 3 — Daniel Suarez (No. 19 Toyota), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 4 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet)
Row 5 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Ford), Erik Jones (No. 77 Toyota)
Row 6 — Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Ford), Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford)
Row 8 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford), Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford)
Row 9 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 10 — Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Ford), Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford)
Row 11 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Chris Buescher (No. 37 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Ford)
Row 13 — Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet), Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet), David Ragan (No. 38 Ford)
Row 15 — Ty Dillon (No. 13 Chevrolet), Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Landon Cassill (No. 34 Ford), Ross Chastain (No. 15 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Cole Whitt (No 72 Chevrolet), Brett Moffitt (No. 83 Toyota)
Row 18 — Timmy Hill (No. 66 Chevrolet), B.J. McLeod (No. 51 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Corey LaJoie (No. 23 Toyota), Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 33 Chevrolet)
Row 20 — Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Toyota), Matt DiBenedetto (No. 32 Ford)

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook ( Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (

Share This Post

Posted by on September 29, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply