NSCS: Mark Martin grabs pole at Phoenix

Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

With only two cars left to qualify Saturday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway, Mark Martin snagged the pole for Sunday’s running of  the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Martin, who won the race at PIR in 2009, will start in the first position for the 52nd time in his career. The pole places Martin in the eighth spot on the all-time pole list.

“I just can’t tell you how thankful I am for everybody and MWR(Michael Waltrip Racing) and Aaron’s,” said Martin. “It’s been so much fun already to drive. Having an owner like Michael Waltrip, gets the last little tid-bit of credit for that pole.

“Having a driver as an owner that I really look up and respect, is really going to be cool.”

Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Tony Stewart, will start to the outside of Martin after he was unable to grab the top spot. Stewart, who was strong in the fall race at Phoenix just one year ago, gets his season back on the right track after a disappointing end to his night in the Daytona 500.

Martin was able to knock off Regan Smith for the pole as the session came to a close. Smith, who was going for his first NSCS pole position, will start third in Sunday’s race.

Rounding out the top ten starting spots are; Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Neman, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Kasey Kahne.

With 44 cars entered for the race, only one driver failed to qualify. Timmy Hill, in his first attempt at a NSCS race, will head home as he could not time his No.37 Ford into the starting field.

Starting Lineup for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway 

  1. Mark Martin
  2. Tony Stewart
  3. Regan Smith
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Juan Pablo Montoya
  6. Ryan Newman
  7. Greg Biffle
  8. Kevin Harvick
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Kasey Kahne
  11. Jeff Burton
  12. Kyle Busch
  13. Denny Hamlin
  14. Marcos Ambrose
  15. A.J. Allmendinger
  16. Clint Bowyer
  17. Bobby Labonte
  18. Aric Almirola
  19. Kurt Busch
  20. Paul Menard
  21. Jamie McMurray
  22. Landon Cassill
  23. Dave Blaney
  24. Carl Edwards
  25. Martin Truex Jr.
  26.  Matt Kenseth
  27. Scott Riggs
  28. Brad Keselowski
  29. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  30. Jeff Gordon
  31. Casey Mears
  32. David Reutimann
  33. Josh Wise
  34. David Ragan
  35. J.J. Yeley
  36. David Gilliland
  37. Michael McDowell
  38. Joe Nemechek
  39. Robby Gordon
  40. David Stremme
  41. Brendan Gaughan
  42. Travis Kvapil
  43. Mike Bliss

Tune in Sunday on FOX at 2:30 p.m. for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 

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