Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson captured his second Martinsville Speedway pole on Friday. Johnson posted a lap of 19.402 seconds (97.598 mph) to take the top starting spot in Sunday’s TUMS Fast Relief 500.
“It’s going to be a long race,” Johnson said. “We’ve helped ourselves out dramatically today by qualifying on the pole, we’ve got the safest pit stall, and starting with track position is very important.”
Johnson owns six career victories at Martinsville Speedway and has 16 top-5 career finishes at the historic Virginia track.
Brian Vickers will start alongside Johnson after turning in a time of 19.415 seconds (97.533 mph) around the .526-mile track. It is Vickers third top-10 start of the 2012 season and his second in 15 races at Martinsville Speedway. Vickers announced he will run nine races for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2013 earlier on Friday.
Kyle Busch will start third for his 19th top-10 in 2012 and his eighth top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. South Boston-native Jeff Burton will start fourth in Sunday’s TUMS Fast Relief 500.
Ten of the 12 Chase drivers in the first 10 rows while Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup point leader Brad Keselowski qualified 32nd. Keselowski has finished in the top-10 at Martinsville just twice in his career. Greg Biffle, currently 11th in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points, will start 30th.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 begins at 2 p.m. Saturday. The trucks qualify at 10:35 a.m. Gates open at Martinsville Speedway at 9 a.m. Saturday in time for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at 9:30 a.m.
Martinsville Speedway PR