NASCAR »

McMurray maintains torrid pace with pole run at Fontana

Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray snares pole for the Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway
The wave of success Jamie McMurray rode from coast to coast hasn't broken yet.

Fresh from his dramatic victory in last Sunday's Daytona 500, McMurray put his #1 Chevrolet on the pole during Friday's qualifying session at Auto Club Speedway.

With a lap at 183.744mph (39.185 seconds), McMurray edged Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya (183.477mph) for the top starting spot in Sunday's Auto Club 500, the second points race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Clint Bowyer qualified third at 183.127mph, as cars powered by Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines grabbed the top three positions on the grid. Kasey Kahne (182.913mph) was fourth in the #9 Ford, followed by Dave Blaney (182.908mph).

Kevin Harvick (182.899mph), Bowyer's team-mate at Richard Childress Racing, qualified sixth. Four-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson, eager to rebound from a 35th-place finish at Daytona, qualified seventh. Sam Hornish Jr., Kyle Busch and Mark Martin claimed starting positions eight-ten.

Despite a whirlwind post-Daytona 500 schedule that included appearances in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, McMurray arrived at Fontana with an optimism that was reinforced by the performance of his car.

"I ran my first two laps of practice, and the car has really good speed in it," said McMurray, who now has four career poles, the last coming on the road course at Sonoma in 2007. "The car feels really solid, so that was refreshing to go through everything this week and get here and have a fast car again.

"I think this weekend is what really sets the standard for the rest of these races. It should be a really good weekend."

McMurray and crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion piggybacked on the setup for the two-mile track developed by Montoya and #42 Chevy crew chief Brian Pattie.

"The good thing is that, everywhere we've been, I've really liked the 42 car setup, what Juan and Brian have developed," said McMurray who drove a Ford for Roush Fenway Racing last year. "So we just unloaded here very similar to what they had - and a couple of small things different - and we just adjusted our car from there.

"Honestly, when I went out, I hoped to get in the top seven. I felt like, if we ran a good lap, we would be in the top seven, so being on the pole was really unexpected."

Casey Mears, Johnny Sauter and Terry Cook failed to qualify for Sunday's race.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet - Jamie McMurray [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
A detail view of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series logo as rain falls prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 25, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
People walk on pit road as rain falls prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 25, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Harvick is the points leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Allmendinger is 25th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Busch is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Wix Chevrolet SS, finishes in fifth place and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, leads the field in a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Join 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.