Martin Truex Jr. Earns His First Pole At Pocono Racewayby Hunter Thomas July 30, 2016 0 comments
LONG POND, Pa. – Martin Truex Jr. will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 after capturing the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday at Pocono Raceway.
Truex Jr. clocked a lap of 50.211 seconds at 179.244 mph in the third and final round to sit on the pole. The pole run marks his first at the Pocono Raceway and his third this season. He sat on the pole earlier this season at Kansas Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway back in May. So far this season, Truex Jr. has 14 top-10 starts.
“I knew we had a shot at it,” Truex Jr. said. “You never know what guys are going to come up with. We knew we were going to have to pick up each round. We felt like we knew the trend of the balance of the car and the adjustments that we were going to make. It’s just once you kind of get that you kind of figure out what you need to do, which way you need to go. It’s like, ‘Okay, how much do we go?’ And, so you work through that with your crew chief and your engineer. Cole (Pearn, crew chief) and Jazzy (Jeff Curtis, engineer) did a good job of hitting it right, doing the right things and I adjusted my driving style a little bit each round to compliment the changes and at the end we put it all together. It’s definitely a good day. It’s pretty cool we’ve got three poles this year and hopefully more to look forward to.”
Carl Edwards will start alongside of Truex Jr. on Sunday. The Missouri native is a two-time (2005, 2008) winner at Pocono Raceway. Out of 24 races at the raceway, he has started within the top-10 in half of them. This year, Edwards has 16 top-10 starts This will mark the fourth time that he has start second in 2016.
“Well, as I crossed the line like I said I felt like that’s it, that’s it,” Edwards said. “But after seeing what he (Martin Truex Jr.) ran I thought maybe I can go back and change this or that. That was a really good lap for me. It just was. You can always go back and pick your lap apart but the last two weeks, Indy and here, I was pretty proud of my lap and they just got it. Hopefully we can turn this into a little bit better race than last week.”
Paul Menard starts third after an impressive run during Friday’s qualifying session. The best start that the driver of the Richard Childress Racing. No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet SS has had this season is an fourth that he captured at Martinsville Speedway in April; however, this will be the fourth time in 19 starts that he has started a race at Pocono Raceway within the top-three.
“The car has been good since we unloaded and Danny (Stockman, crew chief) spent a lot of time in the shop this week. And he’s never been on a Cup team before, so he’s been working with the guys and trying to get everything sorted out with the car for this weekend. This is a new style car that RCR debuted last week at Indy, and everybody at RCR worked out a lot of bugs with it and I think we’ve got it tuned up right now.”
Rounding out the top-five was Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman. Tony Stewart will start sixth. Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano complete the top-10.
The Pennsylvania 400 will broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN), Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images