Joey Logano Rides Wave of Momentum to Martinsville Poleby Kyle Pokrefky October 30, 2015 0 comments
After sweeping the Chase’s Contender Round one week ago, Joey Logano showed to the field that it’s going to take quite the effort to best him as the driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford took the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Logano secured his sixth pole of the 2015 Sprint Cup season with a lap of 19.215 seconds set around the half-mile paperclip – narrowly beating Martin Truex Jr. to the Coors Light Pole Award by 12 thousandths of a second.
With his 14th career pole award, Logano also swept both Sprint Cup poles for Martinsville for the 2015 season.
“It’s been a blast to drive this car,” Logano said. “It’s been so fast. I thought today in race trim we were OK. I didn’t think we were bad by no means, but didn’t have the balance where we wanted it yet, and then we switched to qualifying trim and went straight to the top of the board.
“I felt like, ‘OK, we’ve got some speed here.’ We made some good adjustments throughout qualifying to maintain the speed we needed and tomorrow we’ll have to go to work and make sure our car is good on the long run.”
Completing the top-10 of the starting grid for Sunday’s 500-lapper were Truex Jr., A.J. Allmendinger, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin – making for four of eight Chase drivers in the top-10.
Fellow Chase drivers Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch each respectively qualified in the 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th positions for the race.
Coming off of three straight wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, to back up his dominant performance as of late with yet another pole is a testament of the hard work his Team Penske crew is putting in.
“I don’t believe in luck, I believe in hard work and that’s what this team is doing right now,” Logano stated. “It’s amazing when everyone rises to the occasion together.
“It’s amazing what you can do when you have a team that knows what they have to do and knows what the effort they need to put into it in the right ways. It’s amazing when things come together what you can do.”
Fourth-place qualifier McMurray took the top spot in Q1 in a session that featured all eight Eliminator Round drivers advancing on to the next round.
Logano’s Penske teammate, Keselowski, nearly had issues putting in a lap in time to break into the top-24 as Kasey Kahne went for a spin in Turn 1 and backed his No. 5 Chevrolet into the wall late into the session.
The contact with the wall will force the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team to a backup car for Sunday’s race.
From there, it was Logano taking the top spot in Q2 with a lap of 19.166 seconds that was fastest over Harvick, Gordon, Truex Jr. and McMurray.
Edwards, Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were amongst the drivers to fail to advance to Q3 with their respective Q2 efforts.
Qualifying brought a close to Friday’s on-track action for the Sprint Cup Series garage. The 43 teams that will compete on Sunday will return to the track on Saturday in two practice sessions at 9:00 a.m ET and 12:00 p.m ET.
Top-10 Qualifiers for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500
- 22 – Joey Logano* – Ford – Team Penske – 19.215 | Leader
- 78 – Martin Truex Jr.* – Chevrolet – Furniture Row Racing – 19.227 | -0.012
- 47 – A.J. Allmendinger – Chevrolet – JTG Daugherty Racing – 19.309 | -0.094
- 1 – Jamie McMurray – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing – 19.321 | -0.106
- 24 – Jeff Gordon* – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 19.343 | -0.128
- 18 – Kyle Busch* – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 19.352 | -0.137
- 31 – Ryan Newman – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 19.377 | -0.162
- 43 – Aric Almirola – Ford – Richard Petty Motorsports – 19.385 | -0.170
- 42 – Kyle Larson – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing – 19.398 | -0.183
- 11 – Denny Hamlin* – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 19.421 | -0.206
* = Chase driver.
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images