FORT WORTH, Texas -- In blustery conditions at Texas Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. topped the speed chart in Friday's Sprint Cup qualifying session, winning the pole for Saturday's Samsung Mobile 500 at the 1.5-mile track.
The Coors Light pole award was Truex's first of the season, his second at Texas and the seventh of his career. The driver of the No. 56 Toyota posted a lap at 190.369 mph (28.366 seconds) to edge defending race winner Matt Kenseth (190.148 mph) for the top starting spot.
Samsung Mobile 500
LineupLineup | Practice 1 | Practice 2
Pos. Driver Speed Time 1. M.Truex Jr. 190.369 28.366 2. M. Kenseth 190.148 28.399 3. G. Biffle 190.121 28.403 4. M. Martin 190.020 28.418 5. K. Kahne 189.633 28.476
Kenseth was .004 seconds faster than third-place qualifier Greg Biffle, his teammate at Roush Fenway Racing and the series leader by six points over Dale Earnhardt Jr., who placed 16th in the time trials. Mark Martin (190.020 mph), Truex's teammate at Michael Waltrip Racing, qualified fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne (189.633 mph).
With the pole secure, Truex will try to win his first race since June 2007, when he claimed his only Cup victory at Dover.
"That's our main goal," said Truex, who is tied for third in the Cup standings with Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and defending series champion Tony Stewart. "This team's good enough. We can get to Victory Lane. We're going to do it soon. I feel good about this team. I'm just having so much fun coming to the race track and driving these cars.
"We're going to make them proud here pretty quick."
Stewart qualified 29th in a backup car after scraping the outside wall during the second lap of Friday's 90-minute practice session. The accident may have been a blessing in disguise for the Stewart, who found the backup No. 14 Chevrolet more responsive to adjustments than his primary car.
"I just got loose and didn't have enough race track to get it gathered up," Stewart said of the brush with the wall. "We haven't got a lot of laps on this one [the backup car], but I think we feel better with this one so far.
"It's doing everything that we were trying to get the other one to do ... The top-tier teams, their backup cars are just as good as their primary cars, so definitely no concerns."
Notes-N-Nuggetsฉ Racing Resources and Services, Statistics by ฉ Racing Recallฎ
Martin Truex Jr. claimed his seventh Cup Series pole in his 232nd start. The previous pole for Martin Truex Jr. came at Dover in Oct. 2011 (13 starts between). Martin Truex Jr. became the sixth driver to win a pole in 2012. This was the second Texas pole for Martin Truex Jr.; he ties five other drivers for most at the track. Michael Waltrip Racing earned its ninth Cup Series pole; three of those have come from Martin Truex Jr. Matt Kenseth (second) will make his best start of 2012 and his best career start at Texas in his 20th race. Greg Biffle (third) will start in the top 10 for the sixth consecutive Texas race. Mark Martin (fourth) earned his best start at Texas since starting third in the spring of 2006. Kasey Kahne (fifth) will start in the top 10 for the sixth consecutive race of 2012. Ryan Newman (sixth) starts in the top six for the fourth consecutive race. Marcos Ambrose (seventh) matched his best Texas start, which he set in this race last season. Three drivers failed to make the field: David Stremme, Joe Nemechek and Stacy Compton.
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