Joey Logano won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway on Friday.
It is the third consecutive pole for Logano on the smallest and oldest track in the premier series. He’s the first driver to do that on the 0.526-mile oval since Jeff Gordon won three in a row in 2003-04.
Logano, the fastest in all three rounds of qualifying, barely edged Kasey Kahne with a speed of 97.043 mph while Kahne’s best lap was at 97.033 mph. Logano ran five laps in the last session, Kahne ran just three.
“We don’t have one of those trophies yet,” Logano said in the infield media center, pointing at the grandfather clock that will be awarded to Sunday’s winner. “We’ve figured out the qualifying part really well.”
The action earned Kenseth a two-race suspension, one of the stiffest in NASCAR history.
Logano said he watched the race Thursday night and went to sleep “not very happy.”
“We have a little extra motivation coming up here this week to really show what we’re made out of,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to come up here and do what we know how to do and execute qualifying like we know to.”
Brian Vickers will start third in Tony Stewart’s Chevrolet, with Paul Menard alongside him, followed by Ryan Newman, AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Busch and defending champion Denny Hamlin, a five-time winner at the track.
Kahne thought he had a chance at the pole, but was pleased to get a front row starting spot.
“I think it gives me a lot of momentum. It gives us some confidence that we can go fast,” he said.