Phoenix Qualifying Report
• Mark Martin, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine – WON THE POLE; Martin will start first on Sunday.
• Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota — qualified 13th.
• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Filters Toyota - qualified 14th.
• For the second year in a row Mark Martin won the pole for the Subway Fresh Fit 500k.
• Martin recorded a time of 26.073 seconds – 138.074 mph.
• The Coors Light Pole Award is Martin’s 56th of his Sprint Cup Series career.
• This Coors Light Pole Award moves Martin (56) past Bill Elliott (55) into seventh place on
NASCAR’s all-time pole list.
• Martin is the second oldest pole winner in Sprint Cup Series history (behind Harry Gant).
• Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon round out the top five qualifiers
• Forty-three drivers made a qualifying attempt.
• The race starts at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) on Sunday.
Mark Martin, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota: “Rodney Childers (crew chief) and all the guys on this Aaron’s Dream Machine do such an incredible job. The car was right on the money. They started talking about what they were going to do to it for qualifying and I just covered my ears up and left. They came to me later and said, ‘We weren’t trying to scare you.’ I told them, ‘You just do what you do and I’ll drive it.’ These guys always do such a great job. This 2013 Camry is just rolling.”
How was your lap? “The car was beautiful. Rodney Childers (crew chief) and all the guys that work on the Aaron’s Dream Machine do such a nice job. The car was just really nice. It was a good lap. I had a lot of anxiety about it because I wanted to run hard, but I didn’t want to choke, you know? The times are so close that one little slip up really costs you here, so it was a nice lap and we’ll see where that puts us, but it will be a good starting spot.”
How would you compare the old configuration to the new one? “The layout is a little bit different, but it doesn’t change anything the way you approach it in qualifying. In a race, the backstretch is odd and does change a little bit of things, but the biggest thing is the pavement -- you have to run a really hard tire on this pavement to make it live. So, you have good grip, but as soon as it starts to slip you lose all grip, whereas on the old pavement you could just drive the car through a slide, but now you’ve got to keep the car straight and that’s particularly difficult when you’re trying to go fast.”
Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-HOUR Energy Toyota: “We weren’t very good today. First day of school, we got an ‘F.’ The good news is there’s a lot more days of school. We were just a little off all day. Got a lot better, just when you show up a little bit off you can’t just get it back. I think the guys through practice sessions and going home and looking at what we did and going over some notes -- we’ll be able to capitalize on it and be fine for tomorrow.”
Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Filters Toyota: “Not very good at all. We struggled today in qualifying trim so hopefully tomorrow will go better with the race trim. We struggled being really loose getting in the corner and really tight off the corners. It’s like you’re going off into the corner and when you want to turn the steering wheel you can’t because you’re loose. Then as soon as you get in the corner, as soon as it quits sliding the back, you have to turn the wheel and it doesn’t do anything. I don’t know -- we’re kind of messed up right now. We’ll work hard on it tonight and we should be better tomorrow. New car, new tire -- a lot of things are different. We just missed it today.”
NAME: Clint Bowyer
HOMETOWN: Emporia, KS
RESIDENCE: Clemmons, NC
NAME: Mark Martin
HOMETOWN: Batesville, AR
RESIDENCE: Daytona Beach, FL
NAME: Martin Truex Jr.
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, NJ
RESIDENCE: Mooresville, NC