McMurray Grabs Fontana Pole

Jamie McMurray

Jamie McMurray earned his seventh career pole. (Photo: Getty Images)


Jamie McMurray will start on the pole for the second consecutive time at Auto Club Speedway when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes the green flag for Sunday's Pepsi Max 400.

McMurray posted a lap time of 185.285 mph to earn his seventh career pole and fourth of the season. He will be joined on the front row by Elliott Sadler.

"It was a really good run for us," McMurray said. "The guys do such a good job putting these cars together at the shop and we did a really good job executing our practice today.

"We've got a new engine in this week and the guys from ECR, this is a place where you have so much wide-open throttle that it's really impressive what we have this weekend. I'm really glad to get to have that here at Fontana. I learned this morning that you don't get to pick the tracks you have it at. So, Juan (Pablo Montoya) has had it a couple of races and I'm glad we got to have it here."

McMurray's teammate, Montoya, will start fourth, next to the highest Chase contender, Matt Kenseth. Kasey Kahne rounds out the top five.

“Everybody knows we need this for our team,” said Sadler. “It’s one of our newer cars, we updated the body, it’s been good since we’ve unloaded it. We felt really comfortable coming into the race this weekend. That’s a great way to start off on the weekend.”

Kenseth, who currently sits 11th place in the Sprint Cup standings, has 12 top-10 finishes at Auto Club Speedway dating back to 2000. He is a three-time champion at the track, completing his most recent victory in Feb. of 2009.

“Our lap was pretty good too,” stated Kenseth. “It was a great lap for us.  We made some adjustments and fixed some stuff I was complaining about in practice and I got a good lap on it…It has been a really good track for us in the past. Ever since the first time I’ve come here for some reason we’ve run pretty well at it.”

Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson are the only other Chase contenders to qualify in the top 10. Biffle will start seventh next to Jimmie Johnson in eighth. Martin Truex Jr. qualified sixth, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10.

Denny Hamlin was the lowest Chase qualifier. He will make his worst start in 10 races at Auto Club Speedway when he rolls off the starting grid in 34th.

Other Chase drivers in the field are Clint Bowyer (13th), Jeff Burton (15th), Kyle Busch (16th), Jeff Gordon (17th), Carl Edwards (20th), Kevin Harvick (21st) and Tony Stewart (22nd).

The Pepsi Max 400 takes the green flag at 3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. MRN Radio will provide live coverage beginning at 2 p.m.

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