MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Five days after being eliminated from championship contention, Martin Truex Jr. captured the pole position for Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
The Furniture Row Racing driver turned a lap at 98.206 mph on the 0.526-mile oval, besting Joey Logano (98.165) and Jimmie Johnson (97.840). Logano fell one spot short of his fourth consecutive pole at Martinsville.
It was the second straight pole for Truex, who also qualified first at Talladega Superspeedway, and his fifth of the season. He was eliminated by an engine failure at Talladega.
“This place is just so tough, and that first pit stall is just so critical to having a shot at winning here,” he said. “I would love to get my first grandfather clock. And a little bit after last week, this helps a little bit. All in all, just proud of the guys for coming here with a game plan and executing.”
A.J. Allmendinger and Chase Elliott rounded out the top five.
Tony Stewart qualified sixth ahead of Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
Three Chase contenders failed to advance to the final round: Matt Kenseth, who will start 17th, Kevin Harvick (20th) and Kurt Busch (23rd).
David Ragan qualified a season-best 12th, behind final-round qualifiers Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman.
Click here to see how the three rounds of qualifying at Martinsville Speedway unfolded.
It was a rough qualifying session for Roush Fenway Racing, which didn’t advance any of its cars from the first round. Greg Biffle was 25th, Trevor Bayne 31st and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 39th after his No. 17 Ford slammed the wall from wheel-hopping entering Turn 1 early in the session. Stenhouse will race a backup car Sunday.