Martin Wins Cup Pole In Dover
Mark Martin won the pole on Saturday for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway.
Martin, driving a Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, posted a fast lap at 158.297 mph.
The pole for the FedEx 400 was the 54th of Martin’s Cup career.
He said the run did not come without excitement.
“I would never try that again.” Martin said. “I anticipated the car being loose, but I didn’t ask Rodney (Childers, crew chief) if he tightened it up. I knew the conditions were looser than they were in our mock qualifying run yesterday and I didn’t want to ask him because I didn’t want to get concerned.
“I knew that I only had to make it one mile without wrecking and I was going to drive to the limit and slightly beyond and I felt like I did that. Certainly wouldn’t cheat it again that far. I wouldn’t want to have to do that again.”
Second fastest was Jimmie Johnson in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. His lap was at 158.263 mph.
“The lap was pretty strong,” Johnson said. “I knew off the corner – off (Turns) 2 and 4 – I just couldn’t get the power down, being loose, and I left a little on the table. I felt it was more like a 10th (of a second), 10th and a half that I left out there.
“Qualifying’s never been my strong suit, but I’ve been second a lot. But it is what it is. On the track, I’ll just have to take care of it and do a little better job there.”
Ryan Newman of Stewart-Haas Racing was third fasetest (158.235 mph) while Clint Bowyer, Martin’s teammate, was fourth (158.047 mph).
Fifth was Matt Kenseth in a Roush Fenway Racing Ford.
Filling out the top 10 in qualifying were Kevin Harvick, series points leader Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin.
“I wish I could do it again like everyone else probably does,” Biffle said. “I felt the car sliding so I didn’t go to the gas as soon as I should have probably. I don’t know. I got all I could get down here and three and four I kind of feel the same way. The car was sliding up the track a little bit. It seemed real slick to me and then the 55 (Martin) went and ran that kind of lap. I guess it is only a tenth. If he entered a little different or the car hooked the bottom and he went to the gas really early that would make a difference. Seventh isn’t bad and I feel good about tomorrow. I think we have a good car.”
Josh Wise and Cole Whitt failed to qualify.
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