NASCAR »

Martin stays hot with career-high seventh pole

Cup points leader Mark Martin had to come from the 14th starting position to finish first and second in the first two Chase races.

In Sunday's Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway, Martin simply will have to maintain his position - not improve it - after winning the pole during time trials on a blustery Friday at the 1.5-mile track.

With a lap at 175.758 mph, Martin edged Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. (175.279 mph) for the top starting spot. Earnhardt earned his best starting position since starting second at Watkins Glen in August 2008.

Full-time Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski, who runs a limited Cup schedule for two car owners (Rick Hendrick and James Finch), qualified third at 175.205 mph in a Hendrick car. Jamie McMurray (175.200 mph) and Tony Stewart (175.041 mph) will start fourth and fifth, respectively.

Kasey Kahne, Joe Nemechek, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon and rookie Scott Speed claimed starting positions six through 10.

Martin, who leads the Cup standings by 10 points over teammate Jimmie Johnson, put his No. 5 Chevrolet on the pole for the seventh time this season, eclipsing his previous career best (six poles in 1989).

"Have any of you ever stepped on a cat's tail?" Martin asked after his lap. "I have accidentally stepped on a cat's tail before, and it's pretty funny how fast -- they make a noise, and they go really fast. That's kind of like when I step on the gas on that 5 car today, it was like stepping on a cat's tail. Man, that thing has so much horsepower."

Martin seemed as pleased with Earnhardt's performance as his own.

"Hendrick Motorsports swept the top three spots today in qualifying, and I was really excited for Dale Jr.," Martin said. "(He) really needed that shot in the arm -- and got it. It would have been nice to have seen him on the pole, but still, front row's great."

Earnhardt said some last-minute adjustments helped his qualifying run.

"We were just a couple of adjustments short and got those in right before qualifying," Earnhardt said. "We had a pretty good draw, going out 25th, but the track was about the same for everybody, I felt. The wind was pretty rough all day long, but I might have caught a window during my lap, because I didn't get any gusts or anything that bothered my car.

"It's a good front-row starting spot for us, and we need that type of performance -- and needed it for some time. It's got all the guys on the team excited. We'll see how that rolls over into (Saturday's) practice and see if we can carry some momentum throughout the day and try to turn out a pretty good racecar for Sunday."

In addition to Martin, Stewart, Kahne and Gordon, other Chase drivers will start as follows: Johnson, 11th; Brian Vickers, 12th; Juan Pablo Montoya, 14th; Carl Edwards, 17th; Denny Hamlin 22nd; Ryan Newman, 30th; Greg Biffle 31st; and Kurt Busch 39th.

David Gilliland, Michael McDowell and Kevin Hamlin failed to qualify for the 43-car field.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News


Tagged as: Mark Martin , Hendrick , chase

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mark Martin - Hendrick Motorsports
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position, Friday, July 10, 2015, for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. Positions are based on practice times since the qualifying session was cancelled due to inclement weather. Truex, Jr. is fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet Chevrolet SS races to victory followed by second place finisher Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Amp Energy Chevrolet SS, and third place finisher Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS Sunday, June 14, 2015, in the rain shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 ARRIS Toyota, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, race three-wide at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, affixes the winners decal to his car in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, races to victory, Sunday, June 7, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS is congratulated for his victory by Chevy teammate Jimmie Johnson (r), driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet SS Sunday, June 7, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Johnson finished third. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, celebrates in Victory Lane, Sunday, June 7, 2015, after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory, Sunday, June 7, 2015, after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.