Martin breaks tie with latest Dover pole

After qualifying on Saturday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Mark Martin told reporters that car owner Michael Waltrip told him that his pole total was now higher than his age.

The 53-year-old driver claimed his 54th-career Cup pole and his fifth at Dover with a lap time of 22.742 seconds. The pole broke a three-way tie he shared with Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon for most Dover poles among active drivers, with four apiece.

Speaking of Johnson, he held the provisional pole spot before Martin, the final driver to go out in qualifying, made his run. Johnson will start next to Martin on the front row Sunday.

“I hate getting beat, but Mark did a great job,” Johnson said.

Ryan Newman qualified third and will share the second row on the starting grid with Martin’s Michael Waltrip Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer.

“It was a good run for the Quicken Loans Chevrolet,” Newman said.

Matt Kenseth was the highest-qualifying Ford driver, qualfying fith. Brad Keselowski had the fastest Dodge, qualifying 16th.

Forty-five cars made qualifying attempts, with two drivers, Josh Wise and Cole Whitt, not getting a spot on the starting grid.

The FedEx 400 is scheduled to take the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, with live television coverage on FOX, beginning with prerace at 12:30 p.m.

– Follow me on Twitter @NASCARexaminer

Topics: Dover International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, NASCAR, Pole

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