It’s been a whopping four years and two days since Martin Truex Jr. last started on the pole in the NASCAR Cup Series, dating back to his final season with Furniture Row Racing at Kentucky in July 2018.
Apparently, the best way to celebrate that passing anniversary is to make it irrelevant, as the Joe Gibbs Racing driver secured the pole position for Sunday’s Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the 20th of his NASCAR Cup Series career.
Carrying the colors of Interstate Batteries this weekend, Truex posted a lap time of 29.964 seconds (127.113mph) in the second round of single-car qualifying on Saturday, to secure the top starting spot over regular season points leader Chase Elliott.
Kurt Busch, the driver to post the fastest overall lap of the qualifying session in Round 1 at 29.668 seconds (128.376mph), will start the event from third place, with his 23XI teammate Bubba Wallace earning a career-best starting spot in fourth.
Christopher Bell – a teammate to Martin Truex Jr. at Joe Gibbs Racing — completed the top five. Also advancing to the second round and starting sixth through 10th were William Byron, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick.
Kevin Harvick failed to post a time in the second round, after his No. 4 GEARWRENCH Ford Mustang got extremely sideways exiting Turn 2, forcing the 2014 Cup Series champion to abort his flying lap.
Notables that didn’t advance to the second round and will start outside the top-10 include Ryan Blaney (11th), Joey Logano (12th), Tyler Reddick (13th), Denny Hamlin (14th), Kyle Busch (17th), Ross Chastain (18th), Daniel Suarez (19th), Alex Bowman (27th), Austin Cindric (28th), and Chase Briscoe (29th).
With only the 36 chartered cars entered in the event, all drivers that posted a qualifying time will start Sunday’s 301-lap contest at the 1.058-mile oval.