Jamie McMurray made it two pole positions in a row for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing after setting fastest time in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville.
McMurray set a quick lap of 19.621sec, at an average speed of 95.509mph, which beat the previous benchmark set by Martinsville favorite Denny Hamlin. McMurray's teammate Juan Montoya had qualified on pole position last week at Fontana.
"We have a really good car," said McMurray after claiming his eighth Cup career pole. "This is one of my favorite tracks. I've always loved coming to Martinsville.
"We had a really good car in race trim yesterday. We struggled in qualifying trim. Bono [Kevin Manion, crew chief] and the guys made a couple of small adjustments. You come here and you are kind of at the mercy of your car. It is really slick, it is cold today, you need four or five laps to get going. We had a really good car today."
Stewart Haas' Ryan Newman will start beside McMurray on the front row, while Kasey Kahne will be third in the starting line up in his Red Bull Toyota. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Hamlin and Joey Logano rounded out the top five, while their teammate Kyle Busch was 11th.
Reigning champion and six-time Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson was only 17th for Hendrick – not his worst qualifying effort at the half-mile track – while points leader Carl Edwards managed only 23rd on the grid as Roush Fenway Racing Fords did not seem particularly quick in qualifying trim. However Richard Petty's AJ Allmendinger, running Roush chassis and engines, was sixth fastest.
The No. 87 car of Joe Nemechek had its times disallowed after failing height checks in post-qualifying inspection. He was 37th initially but will start from 43rd place. No cars were left out of the race for Sunday's field as only 43 entered the event.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 19.621s
2. Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Chevrolet 19.655s + 0.034s
3. Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 19.665s + 0.044s
4. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 19.680s + 0.059s
5. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 19.726s + 0.105s
6. AJ Allmendinger Petty Ford 19.735s + 0.114s
7. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 19.745s + 0.124s
8. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota 19.755s + 0.134s
9. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 19.761s + 0.140s
10. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 19.768s + 0.147s
11. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 19.769s + 0.148s
12. Mark Martin Hendrick Chevrolet 19.784s + 0.163s
13. Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 19.788s + 0.167s
14. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford 19.792s + 0.171s
15. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet 19.797s + 0.176s
16. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 19.817s + 0.196s
17. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 19.820s + 0.199s
18. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 19.833s + 0.212s
19. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 19.835s + 0.214s
20. Kurt Busch Penske Dodge 19.836s + 0.215s
21. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 19.843s + 0.222s
22. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 19.852s + 0.231s
23. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 19.875s + 0.254s
24. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 19.879s + 0.258s
25. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 19.879s + 0.258s
26. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 19.894s + 0.273s
27. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 19.908s + 0.287s
28. Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Chevrolet 19.914s + 0.293s
29. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 19.916s + 0.295s
30. Casey Mears Germain Toyota 19.932s + 0.311s
31. Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford 19.942s + 0.321s
32. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 20.002s + 0.381s
33. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 20.004s + 0.383s
34. Robby Gordon Gordon Dodge 20.028s + 0.407s
35. Michael McDowell HP Toyota 20.044s + 0.423s
36. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 20.066s + 0.445s
37. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 20.100s + 0.479s
38. Landon Cassill Phoenix Chevrolet 20.135s + 0.514s
39. Mike Skinner Germain Toyota 20.171s + 0.550s
40. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 20.228s + 0.607s
41. JJ Yeley Whitney Chevrolet 20.306s + 0.685s
42. Tony Raines Front Row Ford 20.306s + 0.685s
43. Hermie Sadler TRG Chevrolet 20.640s + 1.019s