Truex Jr. (78) drives at Pocono Raceway during
qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Pennsylvania 400 auto race Friday in Long Pond, Pa.
Truex qualified on the pole.
POND, Pa. - Martin Truex Jr. has one of his four career
Sprint Cup wins at Pocono Raceway.
his 10th career pole, too.
extended Toyota's recent romp, and turned a lap of 179.244
mph to win the pole Friday.
Carl Edwards made it a 1-2 Toyota front row. Edwards just
missed the top spot for Joe Gibbs Racing with a lap of
178.873 and he thought his No. 19 Toyota might have had
enough to best Truex's chart-topping speed.
must have felt really good because mine was great,"
has 10 wins this season and nine in the last 15 races,
highlighted by consecutive wins by JGR drivers Matt
Kenseth at New Hampshire and Kyle Busch last weekend at
a really neat time to be driving a Toyota for Joe
Gibbs," Edwards said. "Hopefully, we can keep
his third pole of the season in the Furniture Row Racing
No. 78 Toyota and the 10th of his career. His win this
season at Charlotte Motor Speedway might have been the
most dominant performance by any Toyota driver in a race
Menard, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman completed the top
for Richard Childress Racing, Menard posted the surprise
performances of the day at Pocono. Menard has just two
top-10 finishes all season and showed no signs of
developing into a threat for making the Chase for the
Sprint Cup championship.
crew chief switch might make the difference.
topped the lone practice chart in his first race weekend
with crew chief Danny Stockman. RCR dumped Justin
Alexander for Stockman for Menard's stretch run.
has won two Xfinity championships during his seven years
at RCR and he and Menard worked together in that series,
including a win last year at Road America.
made Sprint Cup's championship chase last year, but stands
23rd — and out of the playoffs — with just six races
left in the regular season.
as a whole, we don't like to suck," Stockman said.
"We have been really digging hard as a company to not
suck. It's not fun. Your people get beat down. Everybody
at the shop, we have all the tools to do this right."
RCR had a
rare stout day at the track, with three drivers in top 12.
Austin Dillon was 12th.
other items of note from Friday at Pocono:
Keselowski starts seventh only days after he was involved
in a brutal wreck during a test session at Watkins Glen.
slammed nose-first into a protective tire barrier coming
out of the first turn and tore up the entire front end of
the No. 2 Ford. The Team Penske driver walked away unhurt
and he blamed an improperly installed brake line on the
the 2012 Sprint Cup champion, said the latest wreck at The
Glen has him concerned about the safety of drivers on road
only so many of those hits you're gonna take before
someone gets killed," Keselowski said. "It's
just the way it is. I know that. It's not something I'm
comfortable with. ... Odds are, that if 100 people take
that hit, one or two are not gonna be standing here
Pocono winner Jeff Gordon qualified — yup, 24th — in
his second race driving for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.
missed his third straight race because of concussion-like
symptoms and there is no timetable for his return.
came out of retirement to drive Earnhardt's No. 88
Chevrolet. His familiar No. 24 now belongs to fellow
Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott.
warned Monday that his return to NASCAR could take longer
wish Dale a speedy recovery. I'd like him to be back in
the car," Gordon said. "But at the same time if
he's not, I feel like each time I'm in the car I'll be
more confident and comfortable to get better
qualifying was pushed back about 20 minutes because of a
glitch in the Laser Inspection Station. Several cars had
not passed inspection when qualifying was scheduled to
start. Kyle Busch did not pass inspection until the final
minutes of the first round of qualifying.
Harvick starts 17th with Dax Gerringer serving as his
interim crew chief.
suspended Rodney Childers for an improperly installed lug
nut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
is the fifth crew chief suspended over a lug nut rule
instituted by NASCAR earlier this season. The rule was put
in place because teams were not applying all five lug nuts
properly in an effort to have faster pit stops.
is Harvick's race engineer.