Mark Martin claimed his second NASCAR Sprint Cup series pole position of the season in qualifying for Saturday night's race at Richmond.
The Michael Waltrip Racing veteran had been quickest in the opening practice session and backed up his speed by bumping Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards from pole after being the last car to complete his qualifying run.
Martin, 53, set a time of 21.040 seconds on his second flying lap, at an average speed of 128.327mph around the 0.755-mile track, beating Edwards by a mere six thousandths of a second. His pole is MWR's third out of nine races this season, as the Toyota outfit continues to look for its first win of 2012.
"That was a good lap, I didn't think I could get the pole," said Martin after winning his 53rd career pole. "I enjoy working with MWR. They believe in me and we're having so much fun. In my heart, I really want to make MWR better. That's more important to me than anything."
Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick, the most recent winner at Richmond, was third fastest as he continued his run of good qualifying efforts. Last week's polesitter, Penske's AJ Allmendinger, will share the same row with Harvick as he did at Kansas last Sunday when they started first and second respectively.
Kyle Busch, winless for his last 20 races, was fifth fastest in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, ahead of Hendrick Motorsports's Jeff Gordon and JGR's Denny Hamlin.
MWR's Martin Truex Jr. and the Hendrick pairing of Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. – fastest in the second practice of the day – rounded out the top 10.
Reigning champion Tony Stewart, who won Thursday's Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown charity race, was 22nd fastest, while points leader Greg Biffle was a disappointing 28th fastest, right behind Hendrick's Jimmie Johnson, who brushed the wall early into first practice.
RCR's Paul Menard was forced to use his back up car after crashing his primary one in practice due to a broken throttle which stuck wide-open while exiting Turn 4.
Michael McDowell was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 25th, while Scott Riggs and JJ Yeley failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 21.040s
2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 21.046s + 0.006s
3. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 21.087s + 0.047s
4. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge 21.100s + 0.060s
5. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 21.101s + 0.061s
6. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 21.135s + 0.095s
7. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 21.138s + 0.098s
8. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 21.147s + 0.107s
9. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 21.161s + 0.121s
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 21.169s + 0.129s
11. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 21.184s + 0.144s
12. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 21.194s + 0.154s
13. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 21.205s + 0.165s
14. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 21.213s + 0.173s
15. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 21.225s + 0.185s
16. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 21.261s + 0.221s
17. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 21.266s + 0.226s
18. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 21.274s + 0.234s
19. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 21.278s + 0.238s
20. JP Montoya Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet 21.290s + 0.250s
21. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 21.294s + 0.254s
22. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 21.302s + 0.262s
23. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 21.311s + 0.271s
24. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 21.313s + 0.273s
25. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 21.325s + 0.285s
26. Casey Mears Germain Ford 21.346s + 0.306s
27. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 21.350s + 0.310s
28. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 21.356s + 0.316s
29. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 21.369s + 0.329s
30. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 21.408s + 0.368s
31. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 21.408s + 0.368s
32. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 21.411s + 0.371s
33. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 21.423s + 0.383s
34. David Stremme Inception Toyota 21.432s + 0.392s
35. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 21.448s + 0.408s
36. Scott Speed Leavine Racing Ford 21.456s + 0.416s
37. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet 21.485s + 0.445s
38. David Ragan Front Row Ford 21.503s + 0.463s
39. Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 21.545s + 0.505s
40. Stephen Leicht Childress Chevrolet 21.574s + 0.534s
41. Cole Whitt Turn One Chevrolet 21.663s + 0.623s
42. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 21.690s + 0.650s
43. Reed Sorenson FAS Lane Ford 21.705s + 0.665s
Did not qualify:
Scott Riggs R3 Chevrolet 21.807s + 0.767s
JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Toyota 22.030s + 0.990s
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