Martin Gets First Michigan Pole

Mark Martin

Martin posted a lap of 199.706 mph. (Photo: Getty Images)

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BROOKLYN, Mich. - Mark Martin captured his first pole in 54 races at Michigan International Speedway, and the 55th of his career, in qualifying for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400.

Martin turned a lap of 199.706 miles per hour to score his fourth pole of the 2012 season.

He is now tied with Bill Elliott for seventh on the all-time pole-wins list with 55.

“I am surprised,” Martin said about how well he's running this season for Michael Waltrip Racing. “I was surprised in 2009 at what we were able to accomplish – very similar to this year. I was surprised in 2011 when we were not able to accomplish anything special. And I’ve been surprised again this year to be able to accomplish what we’ve been able to.”

Although Martin has driven in only 14 of the year's 22 races as part of his limited schedule, he's ahead of several drivers who have competed in every event.

The veteran driver says he'll continue to give his all.

“I don’t expect results,” he said. “I expect effort. The one thing you’ll get from me is every ounce I have. You get that no matter what the result will be.

"It was strong today. It was incredibly strong in the test a couple weeks ago when we were up here. I can’t believe that we will be that superior on Sunday. I haven’t seen anybody with a race car that superior in quite some time. I hope it’s the fastest car, but no matter what our team will be fighting to the end.”

Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne rounded out the first five qualifiers.

“It was a good lap," said Edwards. "I am surprised how fast Mark’s lap was. Ours was good so Mark really stepped it up. That was a great run for him.

Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr., last week's Watkins Glen winner Marcos Ambrose, Landon Cassill and Paul Menard were the top 10.

J.J. Yeley and Stephen Leicht failed to make Sunday's race.

Sprint Cup Series drivers will have more practice on Saturday to dial their cars in for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400.

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