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Truex On Pole In Dover

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 1 2011

Martin Truex Jr. won the pole at Dover.

Martin Truex Jr. won the pole for Sunday’s AAA 400 Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

Truex, who claimed his first pole of the season and the sixth of his career, will start the third race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup next to Kurt Busch, the highest qualifying driver eligible for the Sprint Cup championship.

The Michael Waltrip Racing driver turned a lap at 159.004 mph (22.641 seconds) to edge Busch (158.983 mph) for the top starting spot. Paul Menard (158.667 mph) qualified third, followed by Chase drivers Carl Edwards (158.555 mph) and Kyle Busch (158.548 mph).

“It was a good lap,” Truex said. “I knew it was good coming off of four, but of course you never know exactly what time you have to run, especially today with the track being so much faster than it was in practice yesterday. Just got to thank everybody on my NAPA team. Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all the guys did a good job last night of tuning on it and, you know, make it better than it was yesterday. It’s always nice to come here to Dover. I love this place. We’ve got a great pit stall now and great track position to start the race. Hopefully, we can keep it up there all day and get back to victory lane this weekend in the AAA 400.”

Chase leader Tony Stewart will start 28th. Kevin Harvick, second in the standings, seven points behind Stewart, starts 22nd.

“We were just tight,” Stewart said. “We struggled yesterday in practice and obviously didn’t get the lap we wanted. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Mike Skinner failed to qualify for the 43-car field.

Truex was asked if winning the pole as a non-Chase driver felt good.

“It doesn’t feel good to not be in it, let’s start off with that,” Truex said. “Yeah, I mean it feels good to go out there and this is what we come to the race track to do every weekend.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Chase or not.  We come here to be the best we can be.  Certainly, today we were the best out of the cars on the race track and that’s what we want to do every weekend.  If we can continue to do that, we’ll be in the Chase next year.

“At the end of the day, that’s what we all try to do.  It’s what we all strive for and I’ve got a lot of confidence and faith in my time that we’re going to get there.  It’s just a matter of time.  Use these last eight races this year, hopefully, to be prepared better for next year than we were this year.  This time next year, hopefully we’ll be sitting in the Chase.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 1 2011
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