Truex Jr. Pockets Pole in New Hampshire; Jones Qualifies 6th
After initially qualifying second for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. was later informed that he won the pole due to Kyle Larson’s car failing post-qualifying inspection.
It was the first pole of the season for Truex, who had qualified second five times. It was also his 13th career pole.
“Not the way we wanted to get our first pole of the year,” said Truex. “But looking forward to starting front and having a good pit selection.”
Truex’s teammate Erik Jones qualified sixth in his No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota.
Truex, driving the No 78 WIX Filters Toyota Camry, got progressively better during the three rounds of qualifying. He was 20th fastest after the first round and fourth after the second. In the pole-shootout round his lap time/speed on the 1-mile flat track was 28.621 seconds at 133.077 mph on 1-mile flat track.
“I am excited about the weekend with WIX Filter as the primary on the 78,” said Truex. “Hopefully we’ll get them a good run on Sunday and see if we can go get some more points.”
Jones will line up the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota Camry on the outside of Row 3. His best lap in the pole round was 28.854 at 132.002. He was second in the first round and third in the second.
“I think we probably had a little bit better car than that but just got too free in on the last session,” said Jones. “Seventh is a good starting spot. We can win from there, so we’ve just got to work on it a little bit more in race trim tomorrow. If the track’s going to change a lot, we’ll have to get the 5-hour ENERGY Camry a little bit better and go race for a win.”
After Truex Jr., the balance of the top-12 qualifiers were: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Jones, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick.
Sunday’s Overton’s 301 will air live beginning at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM 90 and PRN.