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Martin Truex Jr. takes top spot for Dover

There's no track on the Sprint Cup calendar that Martin Truex Jr. likes more than Dover: he's won here, and his last pole position was here in 2010.
Michael Waltrip Racing's Martin Truex Jr. clinched pole position by just three thousandths of a second over Chase contender Kurt Busch, ahead of Sunday afternoon's AAA 400 Sprint Cup race.

Truex's time of 22.641s was the best by anyone so far this weekend on the one-mile oval Dover International Speedway, making him the only driver to top 158mph during the session. It gives him his sixth Cup career pole in 218 starts. The last time he was on pole position was here at Dover in May 2010, and this is also the venue that gave him his only Cup victory in 2007: he's started from the top ten in all of the last four Dover outings.

“I feel like I understand what it takes to get around the place,” sais Truex of his favourite high-banked oval. “I love coming here. It's a really, really challenging and difficult racetrack, and if you don't like it, it's one of those places that you're never going to figure out."

Kurt Busch also has a good record here, having finished in the top five three times out of the last five races here. "We loosened the car up this morning, anticipating the track coming to us," said Busch. "That's just a sign of a team that's confident in their equipment, to make that kind of adjustment, even without much practice."

Having been fastest in the first practice session on Friday, Paul Menard will start on the second row alongside the next-highest Chase contender, Carl Edwards.

"It was a good run for us," said Menard. "Obviously wanted that pole, we have talked all year we have a win now, we want to get a pole. Still shaking a little bit from the run it is really fast obviously; track is a lot greener than it was yesterday with the rain over night."

"We've got a really great race car," said an optimistic Edwards. "I think I probably left a little bit out there, but this car is so good I didn't want to mess up qualifying. I knew I had one shot at it, one lap, and I'm just happy to start this race today and get it in."

Two more Chase contenders, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson, form the third row of the grid - and will be hoping that they don't clash on-track as they did toward the end of last week's race at New Hampshire. Johnson in particular needs a strong result - and ideally a win - if he's going to kick start his hopes of a sixth consecutive title in 2011.

Another Chase driver in desperate need of a strong result is Denny Hamlin, who qualified in 11th place - although realistically it's already too late for him to claw his way back into title contention after two disastrous races to start the Chase off.




Related Pictures

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Martin Truex Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 42nd Annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 with a lap of 22.641 seconds, 159.004 mph. It`s his his sixth pole in 218 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Newman is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A view of a decal placed on the #14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart (not pictured), during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (left) congratulates his son Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. This will mark Chase Elliott`s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place and Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS finishes in fourteenth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in third place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS finishes in second place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, climbs into his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Larson is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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