Monster Lap for Martin

Mark Martin

Martin was the last driver to qualify and went on to score his third pole of the 2012 season. (Photo: Getty Images)


DOVER, Del. - Mark Martin turned a lap of 158.297 mph to win the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.

Martin was the last car to qualify and went on to score his third pole of the 2012 season.

The Michael Waltrip Racing has earned 13 Sprint Cup Series poles since turning 50-years-old. He has 54 poles in his career, good for eighth on the all-time series list.

“Dover is one of my very favorite race tracks,” said Martin. “It’s fun now and it always has been fun. It’s a place where I’ve always gotten above average results. I really like it. I can’t wait to drive (crew chief) Rodney’s (Childers) car there. I think we’ll be super strong and have a shot to win the thing.”

Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and defending race winner Matt Kenseth rounded out the first five qualifiers.

Six-time Dover race winner Johnson, who lost the top spot by five-thousands of a second, tipped his cap to the veteran Martin.

"Mark Martin is one heck of a wheelman, and he continues to show it," said Johnson.

Kenseth was pleased with his lap and likes his chances on Sunday at one of his favorite tracks on the schedule.

“The track is so fast and challenging, and it’s unique because of the way you drive up out of the turns,” Kenseth described the one-mile concrete oval. “The turns sit a bit lower than the straightaways and you can feel it when you’re driving out there. We’re just going to continue to try and put ourselves up front and into position to be able to be consistent each and every week for our Best Buy team.”

Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin completed the top 10.

Josh Wise and Cole Whitt failed to qualify for Sunday’s race.

The 13th race of the Sprint Cup Series season and the running of the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks takes place on Sunday. Motor Racing Network’s coverage is set to start at noon (ET).

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