Published November 20, 2014
Martin Truex Jr. claimed the pole for the Samsung Mobile 500 after topping Matt Kenseth in Friday's qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway.
Truex, who drives the No. 56 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, posted a lap at 190.369 mph for his second pole at Texas and the seventh of his Sprint Cup Series career. His maiden pole in the series came at this fast 1.5-mile track in November 2007.
"I felt really comfortable going into qualifying that we had a shot at it," Truex said. "It's not easy getting poles in this series...There's no better way to start the weekend than getting the pole."
Kenseth, the defending race winner, captured the outside pole after qualifying 0.033 seconds behind Truex.
"I felt like I got it all out of there, and we just missed it a little bit," Kenseth said. "Our car has a lot of speed, but we just don't have it driving exactly right yet. I had a couple different issues, a little bit of everything."
Greg Biffle, the current points leader, placed third in qualifying, followed by Truex's teammate, Mark Martin, and Kasey Kahne.
"We have a great car for tomorrow night, so I am pretty excited about that," Biffle said.
Ryan Newman, who won the most recent Sprint Cup race at Martinsville earlier this month, qualified sixth. Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson completed the top-10.
Defending series champion Tony Stewart qualified 29th in a backup car. Stewart wrecked his primary car during Friday's final practice session. He won at Texas last November.
"I just got loose and didn't have enough race track to get it gathered up," Stewart said after he made contact with the wall early in the last practice. "We haven't got a lot of laps on this [backup car], but I think we feel better with this one so far."
Biffle enters the race with a six-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified 16th. Stewart, Kenseth, Truex and Kevin Harvick are all 12 points behind Biffle. Harvick will start 15th.
David Stremme, Joe Nemechek and Stacy Compton failed to qualify.
Saturday's 500-mile race at Texas is scheduled to start just after 7:30 p.m. (ET).