Jamie McMurray Pole-Sitter for Toyota/Save Mart 350k

Jamie McMurray Pole-Sitter for Toyota/Save Mart 350k

by June 21, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

SONOMA, Calif. — For the third time in his career, Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing) has claimed the pole for the Toyota/Save Mart 350k.

McMurray smashed the previous track record for the 1.99-mile circuit with his lap of 74.354 seconds in his No. 1 Cessna SS for his first pole of the 2014 season and his second consecutive Sonoma pole. McMurray’s record-breaking run also handed the Joplin, Missouri native his 10th-career Sprint Cup Series pole. McMurray’s attempt to gain the pole was almost thwarted in the first of two qualifying rounds as he was nearly eliminated from advancing to the final round.

“This knockout qualifying is just an emotional roller coaster,” McMurray said. “From not making the top-12 and having to go out and bump your way back in and then being on the pole, there’s a lot of highs and lows that go along with it.”

Road course veteran A.J. Allemdinger (JTG Daugherty Racing) would take position two on the grid with a lap that was two-tenths of a second slower than McMurray’s lap with a lap of 74.557 seconds. McMurray’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Kyle Larson, would take position number three on the grid with his lap of 74.670 seconds. Larson was by far the quickest rookie in the field as Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing) would be the next fastest rookie all the way down in 26th-place.

Notably absent from the top-10 qualifying positions is Clint Bowyer (Michael Waltrip Racing) who had the fastest car in practice on Friday. Bowyer would not advance to the final qualifying round and would have to settle for a 25th-place starting position. Teammate Brian Vickers would prove to be much quicker on Saturday as he would qualify eighth for his ninth Toyota/Save Mart 350k.

Stewart-Haas Racing and Richard Childress Racing would have strong qualifying efforts with three SHR and two RCR cars making it into the final qualifying round. Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Danica Patrick would qualify fifth, sixth, and eleventh (respectively) for Stewart-Haas while Ryan Newman and Paul Menard would qualify seventh and ninth for Richard Childress Racing.

Joey Logano (Team Penske) would run the fastest lap of the first qualifying round with a time of 74.472 seconds. Allmendinger, Busch, Newman, and McMurray would round out the top-five from the first round.

Top-10 Qualifiers for the Toyota/Save Mart 350k

  1. 1 – Jamie McMurray – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing – 1:14.354 | Leader
  2. 47 – A.J. Allmendinger – Chevrolet – JTG Daugherty Racing – 1:14.557 | -0.203
  3. 42 – Kyle Larson# – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing – 1:14.670 | -0.316
  4. 99 – Carl Edwards – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing – 1:14.736 | -0.382
  5. 41 – Kurt Busch – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 1:14.856 | -0.502
  6. 4 – Kevin Harvick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 1:14.894 | -0.540
  7. 31 – Ryan Newman – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 1:14.925 | -0.571
  8. 55 – Brian Vickers – Toyota – Michael Waltrip Racing – 1:14.958 | -0.604
  9. 27 – Paul Menard – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 1:14.994 | -0.640
  10. 22 – Joey Logano – Ford – Team Penske – 1:15.081 | -0.727

# – Rookie.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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