McMurray Nabs Pole, Kenseth Highest Chaser In Third

By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on

Jamie McMurray’s incredible season continued Friday with his fourth Coors Light Pole award of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. His lap was sizzling fast at 185.285 mph.

McMurray said following his run that dinner is on him for his crew chief Bono Manion… Wonder if this occasion calls for a Big Mac?

Elliott Sadler, who is being rumored to be moving to Kevin Harvick Incorporated’s Nationwide team full-time in 2011, impressed everyone when he knocked down the second fastest lap of the day in his Reynold’s Wrap Ford. Following his run Sadler gave all of the credit to his crew chief.

“I’m going to be honest to you, the reason we qualified second today is 100-percent Todd Parrott. He’s put so much effort, and so much hard work into our program the last couple of months,” Sadler said after taking a swig of Coca-Cola.

Matt Kenseth was the quickest of all the Chasers with a lap of 184.096 mph, which was good enough for the third starting spot in Sunday’s Pepsi Max 400.

In all there were just three Chasers inside the top-ten qualifiers for Sunday’s race (Kenseth in third, Greg Biffle in seventh, and Jimmie Johnson in eighth).

Juan Montoya and Kasey Kahne round out the top-five starters at Auto Club Speedway.

Among the surprises other than Sadler in the session were Martin Truex Jr. in sixth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in ninth.

Earnhardt picked up over a half second from where he was in practice. He said a combination of changes to the car, and avoiding the seams in the track attributed to his great run.

“We just made a lot of changes on the car and decided not to run the bottom. The car is just not liking the seems from the exit off of two, so the less seems you go under the less you gotta cross over coming off the corner,” Earnhardt said.

Here is where all of the Chasers will start: Matt Kenseth (3rd), Greg Biffle (7th), Jimmie Johnson (8th), Clint Bowyer (13th), Jeff Burton (15th), Kyle Busch (16th), Jeff Gordon (17th), Carl Edwards (20th), Kevin Harvick (21st), Tony Stewart (22nd), Denny Hamlin (34th), and Kurt Busch (38th).

In all there were 45 cars attempting to make the field, but as we know only 43 cars start each race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The two drivers who will be sent home early are Patrick Carpentier and Mike Bliss.

Author: Toby Christie

Toby is the Editor of and Social Media Director of all things @TheFinalLap. He is the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly radio show and podcast, and he is the writer and co-host of the Racing Legends podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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