Logano Breaks Track Record, But Busch Takes Pole
Kyle Busch sits atop the pole for the first time at Martinsville Speedway.
Joey Logano shattered the track record Friday in qualifying for the STP 500 on Friday, but will be starting third in Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway.
Logano turned the .526-mile oval in 18.898 seconds, 100.201 mph, to best the previous mark of 19.013 seconds, 99.595 mph, set by Denny Hamlin last fall. It is the first time a Sprint Cup car has clocked in at over 100 mph at Martinsville.
But Logano’s blazingly-fast lap came in the first session of the new qualifying procedure for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and he couldn’t back it up in the second session.
Kyle Busch was the fastest of the 12 drivers in the second session and won the pole with a lap of 18.998 seconds, 99.674 mph. This is his 14th pole in 335 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and is his first pole in 19 races at Martinsville Speedway.
“It feels good to be on the pole here at Martinsville. It’s something that doesn’t happy very often for me,” said Busch. “It is a great day for us. We unloaded with a fast car and then worked on dialing it in.”
Hamlin, who missed last week’s race with an injury, will start second in Sunday’s STP 500 followed by Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
Rounding out the top 10 are Matt Kenseth in sixth, Tony Stewart in seventh, Carl Edwards in eighth, Jamie McMurray ninth and Danica Patrick 10th.
There have been five different winners in five Cup races this year and Busch hopes he can be the first two-time winner on the season.
“It would be nice to get that first grandfather clock (Martinsville trophy). It’s been a track I’ve been really close at. I’ve been second, been third and fourth. Now I’ve got to close the deal out,” said Busch.
Actions returns to Martinsville Speedway Saturday with qualifying for the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race 11:10. There will be two Cup practices on Saturday, the first at 10 a.m. and the second at 1 p.m.
Tickets to the STP 500 on March 30 and the Kroger 250 on March 29 can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com