“What do you know. It’s Martinsville and we’re on the pole,” Busch said. “There’s a first time for everything, I guess.”
Busch’s Joe Gibbs teammate Denny Hamlin returned to action after missing last weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., because of a vision problem and also qualified on the front row to give JGR a front-row sweep.
Joey Logano qualified third after setting a new track record with the fastest time in round one. Logano, Hamlin and Busch each turned in lap times in the first round that surpassed the previous Martinsville qualifying record, held by Hamlin.
“I feel like our Shell/Pennzoil Ford has speed in it, obviously,” Logano said. “The guys were telling me that’s our sixth segment we’ve won in qualifying here, and we only have one pole, so I’m winning the wrong ones, and it’s really frustrating me.”
The Hendrick Motorsports duo of Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon qualified fourth and fifth. Sixth through 12 in the second round, and therefore starting sixth through 12th on Sunday: Matt Kenseth, Toiny Stewart, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer.
Brad Keselowski missed advancing to the second round after turning in only the 14th-fastest lap in round one. Prior to Martinsville, Keselowski qualified on the front row for all four races for which NASCAR’s new qualifying format has been used.
David Reutimann was the odd man out after qualifying, failing to get a spot on the starting spot. He and Landon Cassill tied on speed for the last non-provisional spot on the grid. Cassill got the spot by tie-breaker — owner points.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR