Chip Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray posted a lap of 99.905 mph to grab his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season. It was also his second pole at the famed half-mile paperclip and his 11th career pole.
“We tested here a couple of weeks ago and I thought we had one of the best tests that I’ve been a part of, really since I started racing,” McMurray said. “Really well organized. We made the car better throughout the test and hit on a couple things that really had a lot of speed in it.”
With the pole, McMurray became the second “non-Chase” driver to win a pole during this year’s Chase. Brian Vickers, who claimed the pole at Talladega, was the first to do so.
Joey Logano, the track record holder at Martinsville, just barely missed the top spot. Logano posted a fast lap of 99.605 mph to secure the second starting spot, a time that was only .057 seconds off the pole speed.
Logano talked about coming up just short saying, “I felt like one and two was good, the car did what I wanted to do. Got into three hard, waited in the center before going off. Starting up front is something that you always want to do here. It’s a good starting spot for us on our way to stay out of trouble.”
Chase contender Matt Kenseth will start third, with Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin rounding out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch will start in positions sixth through 10th, respectively.
Jeff Gordon, an eight-time winner at Martinsville and fastest in the first practice, missed advancing to the second round by .003 seconds and will start 13th.
“I don’t mind starting 13th,” Gordon said. “It’s not a bad place to start. You just want that really good pit stall, and so we’ll definitely suffer with a pit stall a little bit. But we can definitely still win it from there. Our car is really good.”
Kevin Harvick, who struggled with his car’s handling and made contact with the wall during the first round, qualified 33rd.
“We were way too loose,” he said. “We struggled in practice and just missed it in qualifying. We’ll just have to get it better and be ready to go on Sunday.”
The green flag will fall on the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Complete Starting Lineup:
|18||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr|
|23||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr|
|26||78||Martin Truex Jr|