Truex Jr. Qualifies 5th, Jones 10th at Richmond
September 8, 2017
Furniture Row Racing drivers Martin Truex, Jr. and Erik Jones qualified fifth and 10th, respectively for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.
Truex will line up his No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota on the inside of Row 3 after a pole-round lap of 22.134 seconds at 121.984 mph on the 0.75-mile oval. His lap was 0.079-of-a-second slower than pole winner Matt Kenseth’s lap of 22.055 at 122.421.
It was the 16th top-five qualifying effort for Truex and the No. 78 team this season.
"We had a consistent day,” said Truex. “The Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota had two good practice sessions and put together a pretty good qualifying effort. You always want more, especially after we were fastest in the second round of qualifying. We can win from the fifth starting spot and I feel good about tomorrow night. Even though we clinched the regular season championship we'll approach tomorrow night just like any other race. I think for us it's nice to be locked in and to have a nice tally of (playoff) bonus points. I mean, I think everything tomorrow night for us is just be aggressive and race the way we've been the last few weeks and really most of the season."
Jones will line up the No. 77 SiriusXM Toyota on the outside of Row 5 after a pole-round lap of 22.251 at 121.343. It’s the 12th time the NASCAR Cup Series rookie has qualified in the top 10 this season.
“The SiriusXM Toyota was pretty good in qualifying,” said Jones. “We went back and forth on some adjustments between the first and second rounds. We kind of got to a spot where I wasn’t sure what I wanted out of the car and ended up being a little bit to the free side. We were a lot better than where we practiced so it’s a good starting spot for us to work our way to the front.”
After Kenseth, the balance of the top-12 qualifiers were: Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Truex, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Chase Elliott, Jones, Jamie McMurray, and Joey Logano.
The 400-lap, 300-mile Federated Auto Parts 400 will consist of three stages of 100/100/200 laps (laps 100/200/400). Saturday’s race will air live beginning at 5:30 p.m. MT (7:30 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN.