Martin Truex Jr. On Pole for Sunday
Busch completes front row to give Nos. 1 and 2 cars 1-2 start
From Sporting News Wire Service Martin Truex Jr. stormed from mid-pack to the pole in Friday's qualifying session for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. The 26th driver to attempt a two-lap run at the one-mile track, Truex knocked NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson from the provisional pole for Sunday's race with a lap at 135.120 mph. Kurt Busch, who went out 33rd, claimed the second spot at 134.579 mph, with Johnson (134.454 mph) holding the third starting position. Unlike most other drivers who were faster on the second of two laps, Truex grabbed the top spot by turning his first lap in 26.643 seconds. And in doing so, he knocked nearly a half-second off his practice time after air-pressure adjustments gave him a big boost in speed. "I felt good about the car in the two runs we made in practice, but after we made the first run, it was OK, and we adjusted on it and went the wrong way," said Truex, who won his third pole of the season and the fourth of his Cup career. "We knew we could go faster. This is a place that normally you pick up in qualifying from what you do in practice, so I felt good going in. "We were 20th in practice, but it was like a tenth (of a second) from first to where we were at, so it doesn't take a whole lot. We just made the right adjustments, and the lap felt great. I think we qualified second here (before), and it was the same way (that) time (2007) - I think our first lap was quicker - and I'm not sure why that is with us." Kasey Kahne (134.293 mph) qualified fourth, and Denny Hamlin was fifth at 134.228 mph. Mark Martin, who trails Johnson by 73 points with two races left in the Chase for NASCAR the Sprint Cup, will start 10th. Jeff Gordon, third in points and 112 behind Johnson, earned the 14th starting position. Johnson qualified 12th for last Sunday's race at Texas Motor Spedway and was wiped out in a crash on Lap 3. Johnson said he hopes starting closer to the front at Phoenix will help keep him out of harm's way. Regan Smith, Kevin Conway and Brandon Ash failed to qualify for the 43-car field. Conway was attempting to make his Cup debut at Phoenix. Tickets to witness the championship atmosphere of the November NASCAR event weekend at Phoenix International Raceway - with prices as low as $25 for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 - can be purchased online at the newly-designed PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223). The PIR Ticket Office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 125 S. Avondale Blvd., just south of I-10 at Exit 131 in Avondale.
Related PIR News
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has made the fall race at Phoenix Raceway more crucial than ever as the field of drivers in the Round of 8 is cut to the #Phoenix4 – the final four drivers in contention for the championship. After the checkered flag waves for the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13, the #Phoenix4 will advance with their championship dreams only one race away.
Fans will enjoy a full weekend lineup of entertainment for the Can-Am 500 race weekend at Phoenix Raceway, Nov. 11-13. This fall will feature a new post-race Phoenix Raceway After Dark show with Christopher Shayne on Friday, Nov. 11. PIR mainstays like Harry Luge and METALHEAD will return to Busch Garage all weekend long, while NASCAR’s favorite DJ Michaelis will be back to add his unique spin on driver introductions before the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13.
Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that the health and beauty supplement brand youtheory® has been named the official sponsor of the Restart Zone at PIR for the Can-Am 500 race weekend on Nov. 11-13. The youtheory partnership marks the first sponsored restart zone at the track. Phoenix Raceway also welcomes youtheory as the official health supplement of the track.
Fans attending the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13 at Phoenix Raceway will be entertained with live music before the start of the race as multi-platinum rock group Hinder will perform a pre-race concert in the Fan Midway area at 10:30 a.m. MST.
Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that Jennifer Staton has been named Senior Director of Partnership Sales & Marketing. Staton has been with International Speedway Corporation (“ISC”), the parent company of PIR in Daytona Beach, Fla., since 2006.