The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rolls into Martinsville this afternoon for the for the Goody's fast relief 500. Coverage begins on FOX at 12:30pm eastern. Kasey Kahne grabbed the pole for today and says it will be important to start out front on the short track.
"It's a tough track to qualify and a tough track to race -- always has been one of my tougher ones over the years," said Kahne. "I'm glad we can start up front, have a great pit stall -- that No. 1 stall -- I think that helps throughout the whole race with track position. Hopefully, we'll have a solid day [on Sunday]. That's what we need to do. We've had great Fridays and Saturdays but just haven't put together a Sunday yet."
This is the second straight pole for Kahne, the first driver this season to win consecutive poles. It also bears pretty well for his chances as five of his career wins have come in races where he started at the front of the pack. That said, his best ever finish at Martinsville is just 14th.
With Martinsville only a little over a half mile long, it's always one of the more rough and tumble races on the tour. Kevin Harvick, who qualified 13th, says to look out for scrapes and bumps.
"There's times when you just bounce off the curb a little, [because] the guy on the outside will pinch you off a little too much," Truex said Friday. "It's just a part of racing here, beating and banging a little bit. Obviously you don't try to run people over, but at any time during the race you're going to be running into somebody or getting run into. It's just the way it is here."
One driver to watch today will be Jeff Gordon, who is looking to kick his 2012 season into gear. He's the active leader in wins at Martinsville and posted the fastest times at both practice sessions this week. He'll start 9th.
Here's the rest of the top ten.
- Kasey Kahne
- Kevin Harvick
- Denny Hamlin
- Clint Bowyer
- Ryan Newman
- Brian Vickers
- Brad Keselowski
- Kyle Busch
- Jeff Gordon
- Joey Logano
Other notables: Dale Earhardt Jr 14th, Tony Stewart 15th, Jimmie Johnson in 22nd, and Carl Edwards in 28th.