Jamie McMurray set a new track qualifying record at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway on Saturday with a lap time of 74.354-second (96.350 mph) to claim the pole for Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track, the first of two road course races on the 2014 series schedule.
“I put together a really smooth lap the last run,” McMurray said. “It didn’t feel like I got off turn seven or turn 11 near as good as I did the previous two, but the esses were really good for me, just really quick around the corners.”
McMurray will be joined on the front row Sunday by A..J. Allmendinger.
“Jamie put up a heck of a lap, there,” Allmendinger said. “Two-tenths, makes me feel a little bit better that he didn’t beat me by two-thousandths, because two-tenths is tough to find.”
Series rookie Kyle Larson will start third, sharing row two on the starting grid with Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch, meanwhile, qualified fifth.
The qualifying session cosisted of two rounds. Joey Logano was tops in the first round with a lap time of 74.472 seconds. Like in the second round, Allmendinger was also second-fastest in round one. Logano, though, slowed down in the second round and wound up qualifying 10th.
The 12 fastest drivers in the first round advanced to round two to determine the starting order of the top-12. The remainder of the top-12 include Kevin Harvick in sixth, Ryan Newman seventh, Brian Vickers eighth, Paul Menard ninth, Danica Patrick 11th and Casey Mears 12th.