Truex Jr. Tops in Texas Qualifying

Martin Truex Jr.

Truex Jr. scored his seventh career pole. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Martin Truex Jr. took the pole for Saturday's Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with a lap of 190.369 mph.

The Michael Waltrip Racing driver scored the seventh pole of his Sprint Cup Series career and first since Dover in October of last season.

It was the ninth Sprint Cup pole for MWR and the team’s second this season.

“I've really just been having a lot of fun with my team,” said Truex Jr., who comes into the weekend sixth in the Sprint Cup Series point standings. “I've got a great bunch of guys. I've really enjoyed working with Chad (Johnston), my crew chief, and watching him come into his own.

“He's really getting a lot of confidence in his decisions. The things he's been able to do are showing. He's really growing as a crew chief. It's been a lot of fun just to come to the race track each week and work with him and just to see the progress of the team and the excitement around the shop during the week.”

Last year’s Samsung Mobile 500 race winner Matt Kenseth qualified second with a lap of 190.148 mph.

“I just would feel better if I got beat by more I guess,” Kenseth said about being edged out for the pole. “I felt like I got it all out of there and we just missed it a little bit. Our car has a lot of speed we just don’t have it driving exactly right yet. I had a couple different issues. A little bit of everything. It was a little too loose, but I had some other problems too.”

Greg Biffle, Mark Martin and Kasey Kahne rounded out the first five qualifiers.

Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson completed the top 10.

Tony Stewart, who won last November’s Texas race, hit the wall in Friday’s final practice session and was forced to a backup car. Although it’s the same machine Stewart drove to the Texas victory last fall, the defending Sprint Cup Series champion could only manage to qualify 29th for Saturday night’s race.

"I just got loose and didn’t have enough race track to get it gathered up. So, driver error," Stewart explained of the practice mishap.

A total of 46 drivers attempted to make the race and three failed to qualify; David Stremme, Stacy Compton and Joe Nemechek.

Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

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