Martin Truex Jr. claims pole at Richmond; third of the season

29 Apr by admin

Martin Truex Jr. claims pole at Richmond; third of the season

RICHMOND, Va. — Martin Truex Jr. won the pole Friday for the NASCAR Cup Series race Saturday at Richmond Raceway, edging Chase Elliott.

The pole is the series-best third of the season for Truex, the 18th of his career and his first at the 0.75-mile oval.

It’s also a nice turnaround after finishing 37th and 30th in the past two races. Before that, he’d had five straight top-five finishes.

“Definitely a good way to start the weekend,” said Truex, who is seeking his first career short-track victory. “I’d say out of all the short tracks, this is probably the one we’ve probably been consistently the best at and definitely had the most chances to win here. I feel like we’ve run really strong the last few times and led a bunch of laps.

“Definitely feel like we should have won here already,” he said.

Truex’s winning lap came at 123.859 mph.

Elliott, coming off a 29th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, is 23rd in the points standings and still seeking his first career victory.

“I thought it was much improved from where we have been,” the Hendrick Motorsports driver said. “You’ve got to take the small victories every now and then in life and especially in the racing world. We are just trying to take those right now. A much better Friday than we have been having.”

Defending race winner Joey Logano will start third, followed by Denny Hamlin.

Both front-row starters hope their success carries over.

“I think it gives you confidence in that the things you are thinking about and planning for are going in the right direction,” Truex said

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