"I felt like 1 and 2 went as good as I could have hoped and just got a little bit loose down in turn 3 and lost some time," said Menard. "Still probably could not have gotten Joey," he admitted.
"I'm really glad we are starting on the inside," he added. "If we couldn't be third I would have liked to have been fifth just to be on the inside. The track is widening out in turns one and turn three are getting kind of a half outside groove. It's just going to continue to get better throughout the race."
For his part, Kyle Busch admitted that he'd "Missed just a little bit" on his run.
"You're kind of tentative going out there knowing everybody has been a little bit slick, but a couple of guys started to back up their times from practice," he said. " We backed up our time from practice too. But just a little bit off in qualifying trim for some reason, just not being to get all the speed we need out of it. Solid lap."
The former Pocono lap record holder, Kasey Kahne, will start from tenth place on Sunday, while Cup championship leader Greg Biffle settled for 13th place on the grid. Current Cup champion Tony Stewart once again had a disappointing qualifying and will start from 22nd, two places ahead of last week's race winner Jimmie Johnson in 24th who also struggled to set a strong time on Saturday.
David Stremme was the sole driver not to qualify for the 43-car grid, after he brushed the wall in turn 1 on his qualifying lap and failed to make it into the race on speed. Scott Riggs got to repeat his qualifying effort as his initial run revealed that the track needed additional clean-up, leading to a delay of around an hour to the start of qualifying.
Full qualifying and practice times