It didn’t take long for Martin Truex Jr. to make a statement as the new driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet SS.
In Sunday’s Daytona 500 Pole Day qualifying at Daytona International Speedway, Truex locked himself into the next Sunday’s Great American Race by qualifying on the front row as a result of posting the second fastest time and speed – 45.953 seconds at 195.852 miles per hour -- at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway.
Austin Dillon, driving the No. 3 car for Richard Childress Racing, captured the pole with a time and speed of 45.914 at 196.019.
Under the Pole Day format only the front row gets locked in for the Daytona 500. The remainder of the 43-car starting field will be determined in Thursday night’s twin 150-mile (60 laps) qualifying races. Truex will start on the pole in the second qualifying race.
“Yeah, front row that is what we are here for today,” said Truex. “Obviously I can’t say enough about this team. What a great job. I think we have got about seven miles on this car. One run yesterday, no testing down here, just an amazing job by Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and Cole Pearn (team engineer) and everybody on the team.
“Obviously I am a pretty lucky guy to get to hold the wheel. ECR (Earnhardt-Childress Racing) engines front row, we are lucky to have them under the hood and just have to thank everyone for the hard work. Really excited about the rest of Speedweeks.”