Truex Jr. wins first career Kansas Speedway pole as Hendrick struggles

KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 06:  Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota Toyota, poses for a photo after winning the pole award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 6, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, KS – MAY 06: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota Toyota, poses for a photo after winning the pole award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 6, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. scored a career first Friday. The Furniture Row Racing driver also broke a pole drought of four years by winning the pole for Saturday nights NASCAR Sprint Cup GoBowling.com 400 at Kansas Speedway. It was the first pole for Truex and his first in 147 races dating back to Texas in 2012 and the 18th of his career.

“Feels good to be getting another pole – it’s been a long time,” Truex said. “I think I’ve got a XFINITY Series pole here at Kansas back in about ’05, so it’s been a little while here at Kansas and it’s been a few years in the Cup Series altogether. We’ve led the first round. We’ve led the second round. We just haven’t quite figured out how to lead that third round.”

After leading the final practice earlier Friday, Truex put down a lap of 28.284 seconds, 190.921 miles per hour near the 3:25 mark of the final five minutes of the third round of knockout qualifying Friday evening to score his first career pole at Kansas Speedway.  Matt Kenseth, who led the first two rounds of qualifying, will start second, Denny Hamlin who became the only driver to advance to the final round in every race this year, will start third followed by Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski.

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