Martin Truex, Jr. won his first career Nextel Cup Series pole at Texas Motor Speedway Friday.
Truex’s average speed of 193.105 beat out second place Jeff Gordon’s speed of 192.424.
Both drivers made this year’s Chase, NASCAR’s 10-race playoff system, but the two drivers’ post seasons couldn’t be any different.
Gordon currently leads the series by nine points over teammate Jimmie Johnson, won the Chase races at Talladega, Ala. and Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as notching four others wins this season.
Truex, who has seen modest success in only his second year in the Cup Series, has one win in the regular season and is currently ranked 12th, 513 points behind Gordon and last of the Chase drivers.
Photo Courtesy NASCAR
Like everything else this year, getting to the track was a feat in and of itself. Truex wrecked his car on the closing laps of last week’s race at Atlanta when he ran into Denny Hamlin who had fuel problems during the last restart of the race.
That car was stripped and rebuilt in three days to get it ready for this weekend’s race at Texas.
“This is my favorite car; it has been for the good part of the season,” said Truex. “I love the feel of it, the way the seat’s in it, just everything about it feels right when I’m in it and I’ve got a lot of confidence that I can drive really hard in it.”
Gordon, who has not traditionally seen a lot of success at the track, said he’s glad he slowly started to perform better at Texas.
“I can remember coming to this track and everyone saying ‘you haven’t finished this race,’ and now [being asked] ‘you have a streak of top fives, what do you think about that,’” said Gordon.