Martin Truex Jr. Captures The Pole For Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600by Camille Jones May 26, 2016 0 comments
CONCORD, N.C. – Martin Truex, Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award on Thursday for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Truex Jr. ran a lap of 28.077 seconds at 192.328 mph to win the pole. This is the second pole of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup series season for the driver of the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Toyota. The effort also marks his first pole at the speedway in 22 attempts for the Furniture Row Racing driver.
“Obviously proud of my team for the effort,” Truex Jr. said. “We really had to work pretty hard for it today. It was just one of them Charlotte deals where things were continuously changing and we were just chasing the race track and changing the car. Just really never got it really close to right until that last adjustment so really just proud of the effort, proud of my guys for that and it feels good – 600 miles, that first pit stall. We’re going to be on pit road a lot Sunday night and that’s certainly going to be an advantage so we’ll take advantage of it and hope it works for us. Looking forward to getting to work on Saturday and hopefully we’ll be good for Sunday night.”
Quickest in the first two qualifying sessions was Joey Logano, driver of the Team Penske No. 22 Pennzoil Ford. He came up just shy of the first starting spot in the final round of qualifying. He now has nine top-10 starts this season and five at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Logano held off Kyle Larson to win last weekend’s Sprint All-Star Race.
“We never say die, that’s for sure,” Logano said. “We keep pushing to the end. That’s what I love about my team. It’s like, ‘We’re second. We’re gonna go again.’ It’s sometimes a last-ditch effort. Most of the times it never works, but we try hard and that makes us feel better so we keep pushing at it. Overall, the Shell/Pennzoil Ford was really fast. We showed that with winning the first two rounds, but we just didn’t win the most important one at the end. A front row starting spot is nice for a 600-mile race. We can get a good pit stall because we’re gonna be in the pits a lot. I’m excited about the speed we have in the car. It’s continued from week to week from the All-Star Race, so we’ll see what we’ve got.”
Driving his Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Fastenal Ford into the top-5 of each qualifying session, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. claimed the third place starting spot for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. His Thursday qualifying effort marks his best starting spot of the 2016 season. He has started within the top-10 in seven races so far this season, and he has only two career top-10 starting spots at the speedway.
“Being in the top four in every session there was really big for us,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “We’ve been fast at times in qualifying, but never put every round together and stayed that consistent, so I’m really proud of the team for the adjustments that they made throughout the qualifying session there. We just missed it a little bit, but we know where to go work on it to get it better. Now our job is to get it better on Saturday for a long 600 miles and make sure that we’ve got some adjustability in it. It’s something that I feel like we’ve struggled with. If I could point out one thing that we’ve struggled with this year it’s making the car better throughout the race. That’s one thing we’ve been talking about all week and will continue to talk about and try to figure out come Saturday’s practices and getting ready for Sunday.”
Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski qualified fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top-10 in Sunday’s starting lineup is Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Trevor Bayne.
Coverage for the Coca-Cola 600 will broadcast live on FOX and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 29th.
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images