Truex Jr. Qualifies 5th in Arizona
November 13, 2015
After a nail-biting first round, Martin Truex Jr. found his rhythm and stormed back in the second and third rounds to qualify fifth for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Truex,, who was eighth fastest in Friday's practice, had a slow qualifying start in the first round on the 1-mile flat track. He was 23rd fastest of the 24 drivers advancing to the next round.
Truex's No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet picked up the pace in the second round with the 10th fastest speed to advance to the pole-shootout round of 12.
Truex came through in the money round, posting his best lap of qualifying with an elapsed time of 25.300 seconds at 142.292 miles per hour.
"We kind of knew the first round was going to be our slowest, but it was close," said Truex. "We adjusted for the following rounds and got ourselves a good starting spot. All-in-all, it was a great job by all the guys and fifth is a really good starting spot for us here and we’ll get a good pit stall. I feel like our car will race better than it qualified. We’ve struggled here in qualifying for whatever reason the past few times, but we’ve raced really well. So, we’re looking forward to tomorrow and getting ready for Sunday.”
Truex enters Sunday's race fourth in Chase points. The four drivers following the 312-lap race will advance to the one-race championship round on Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The season champion will be determined by who finishes the highest among the four finalists at Homestead.
The Phoenix pole winner was Jimmie Johnson (25.147 at 143.158). Rounding out the top-12 in order were: Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Truex, Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Jamie McMurray.
Sunday's Quicken Loans for Heroes 500 will be televised on NBC, 12:30 p.m. MT.