[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photography, Inc.” align=”alignright” width=”247″][/media-credit]53 year old Mark Martin took the pole for Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 away from Regan Smith with just one driver remaining to the applause of the fans at Phoenix International Raceway. This is Martin’s third career pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series here in Phoenix. His last pole in Phoenix came back in 2009. He ended up winning that event which turned out to be his first career win with Hendrick Motorsports.
“I can’t say enough for MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing), Aaron’s and my team giving me such great Toyotas. I want to make sure that everybody knows that having an owner for a driver is really, really special. I got this pole because of Michael Waltrip and something that he said to me right before I went to qualify and of course a great race car and a great team and everything else. Thank all the fans for cheering, that’s such a privilege to be still racing — thank you all.” Martin said.
Tony Stewart will start alongside Martin on the front row. We mentioned earlier that Stewart has one career win here which he won during his rookie season back in 1999. Martin also has only one victory here.
Rounding out the top-10 were Regan Smith, Jimmie Johnson, Juan Montoya, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Kasey Kahne.
Other notables include: Kyle Busch (12th), Hamlin (13th), Bowyer (16th), Kurt Busch (19th), Edwards (24th), Truex (25th), Kenseth (26th), Keselowski 28th), Jr. (29th), Gordon (30th).
“It was just awful. We have been way too free since we have been here and the track seems a lot more free than last time. We didn’t get much practice in the backup car with me wrecking the other one and having to put the motor in and all that stuff. That got us behind and we just missed it by a lot there in qualifying.” Kenseth said.
Hendrick Motorsports looks to rebound after losing 3 of their 4 race cars during the big crashes at Daytona. It looked like Jr. and Jeff Gordon are more focused on their race setups than Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne. Kahne looked like he had a pole winning time, but his car bottomed out a lot especially in Turns 3 and 4.
|Subway Fresh Fit 500, Phoenix International Raceway|
|25||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||133.417||26.983|
|29||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||132.597||27.15|
The Nationwide Series race begins shortly and the Sprint Cup race will take place tomorrow. Hope to see all of the fans there! Follow me on Twitter for updates! http://www.twitter.com/SirRyanTheOHara