Truex streaks to first 2012 pole at Texas

(C) Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, fires off a rifle after winning the pole during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(C) Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, fires off a rifle after winning the pole during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas — In blustery conditions at Texas Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. topped the speed chart in Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying session, winning the pole for Saturday’s Samsung Mobile 500 at the 1.5-mile track.

The Coors Light pole award was Truex’s first of the season, his second at Texas and the seventh of his career. The driver of the No. 56 Toyota posted a lap at 190.369 mph (28.366 seconds) to edge defending race winner Matt Kenseth (190.148 mph) for the top starting spot.

Kenseth was .004 seconds faster than third-place qualifier Greg Biffle, his teammate at Roush Fenway Racing and the series leader by six points over Dale Earnhardt Jr., who placed 16th in the time trials. Mark Martin (190.020 mph), Truex’s teammate at Michael Waltrip Racing, qualified fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne (189.633 mph).

With the pole secure, Truex will try to win his first race since June 2007, when he claimed his only Cup victory at Dover.

“That’s our main goal,” said Truex, who is tied for third in the Cup standings with Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and defending series champion Tony Stewart. “This team’s good enough. We can get to victory lane. We’re going to do it soon. I feel good about this team. I’m just having so much fun coming to the racetrack and driving these cars.

“We’re going to make them proud here pretty quick.”

Stewart qualified 29th in a backup car after scraping the outside wall during the second lap of Friday’s 90-minute practice session. The accident may have been a blessing in disguise for the Stewart, who found the backup No. 14 Chevrolet more responsive to adjustments than his primary car.

“I just got loose and didn’t have enough racetrack to get it gathered up,” Stewart said of the brush with the wall. “We haven’t got a lot of laps on this one (the backup car), but I think we feel better with this one so far.

“It’s doing everything that we were trying to get the other one to do… The top-tier teams, their backup cars are just as good as their primary cars, so definitely no concerns.”

Stewart’s team replaced the backup engine with the engine from the primary car before qualifying, which is permissible without penalty.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – SAMSUNG MOBILE 500

Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Friday, April 13, 2012

1. (56)  Martin Truex, Jr., Toyota, 190.369 mph.

2. (17)  Matt Kenseth, Ford, 190.148 mph.

3. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 190.121 mph.

4. (55)  Mark Martin, Toyota, 190.020 mph.

5. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 189.633 mph.

6. (39)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 189.494 mph.

7. (9)  Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 189.467 mph.

8. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 189.381 mph.

9. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 189.294 mph.

10. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 189.281 mph.

11. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 189.082 mph.

12. (22)  AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, 189.023 mph.

13. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 188.884 mph.

14. (20)  Joey Logano, Toyota, 188.805 mph.

15. (29)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 188.653 mph.

16. (88)  Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Chevrolet, 188.442 mph.

17. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 188.298 mph.

18. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 188.291 mph.

19. (21)  Trevor Bayne(i), Ford, 188.186 mph.

20. (99)  Carl Edwards, Ford, 187.957 mph.

21. (34)  David Ragan, Ford, 187.872 mph.

22. (13)  Casey Mears, Ford, 187.813 mph.

23. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 187.748 mph.

24. (31)  Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 187.676 mph.

25. (42)  Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 187.539 mph.

26. (78)  Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 187.292 mph.

27. (51)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 187.182 mph.

28. (83)  Landon Cassill, Toyota, 187.110 mph.

29. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 186.994 mph.

30. (47)  Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 186.981 mph.

31. (10)  David Reutimann, Chevrolet, 186.664 mph.

32. (26)  Josh Wise #, Ford, 186.361 mph.

33. (98)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 185.925 mph.

34. (24)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 185.605 mph.

35. (38)  David Gilliland, Ford, 185.605 mph.

36. (49)  JJ Yeley, Toyota, 185.542 mph.

37. (93)  Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 185.192 mph.

38. (95)  Scott Speed, Ford, 185.122 mph.

39. (32)  Reed Sorenson(i), Ford, 184.824 mph.

40. (23)  Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, 184.748 mph.

41. (36)  Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, Owner Points

42. (33)  Tony Raines, Chevrolet, Owner Points

43. (19)  Mike Bliss(i), Toyota, 184.729 mph.

3 drivers failed to qualify.

44. (30)  David Stremme, Toyota, 184.716 mph.

45. (87)  Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 184.376 mph.

46. (74)  Stacy Compton, Chevrolet, 181.038 mph.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.