Martin Truex Jr. claims the pole at Dover

Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent

Martin Truex Jr. claims the pole at Dover

Martin Truex Jr., drove the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota around Dover International Speedway in 22.641 seconds on Saturday during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole qualifying to claim the top starting spot for Sunday’s AAA 400.

“Just a great lap,” Truex Jr. said. “Dover has been so good to me. Our NAPA Toyotas have always been fast here.”

Our NAPA Toyotas have always been fast here.

Martin Truex Jr.

Truex considers Dover his home track, as he grew up in nearby Mayetta, N.J.

Kurt Busch claimed the other front row position on the starting grid with a second-fastest lap time of 22.644 seconds in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge. The No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Paul Menard, the final car to make a qualifying attempt, posted a lap time of 22.689 for the third starting spot.

“I had a good run in turn two and then I hit the rev chip in turns three and four and scared myself,” Busch said.

Carl Edwards claimed fourth in qualifying with a 22.705-second lap in the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford to give the first two rows of the starting grid parity, as all four manufacturers were represented.

David Ragan claimed the provisional pole early in the qualifying session with a lap time of 22.866 seconds in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, but gave up the top spot quickly to Jeff Burton, who ran a 2.829-second lap in the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. The No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Denny Hamlin then, briefly, moved to the top of the scoring pylon with a 22.801-second lap. By the end of qualifying, all three drivers were shuffled outside the top-10.

Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

After several drivers jockeyed the top spot in qualifying, Bobby Labonte was the first driver to hold on to the provisional pole for a significant length of time when he got his No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Toyota around Dover in 22.738 seconds. Labonte eventually lost the top spot to Busch, who remained at the front until Truex claimed the provisional pole and remained in the top spot through the remainder of the qualifying session. Labonte wound up with the eighth-fastest qualifying lap.

“It (the car) was more stable than it was yesterday (in practice),” Labonte said. “The track’s got a lot of good grip in it right now.”

Forty-four cars made qualifying attempts to claim the 43 starting spots for Sunday’s race. Mike Skinner was the lone driver who failed to post a fast enough to time to get into the race after he scraped the wall during his qualifying laps.

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