The last time the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ran at Richmond Raceway, the event was dominated by Martin Truex Jr.
Truex didn’t claim the checkered flag but he’ll have a great starting spot when he tries again Saturday night – the pole. The reigning series champion was fastest in the first round and then the final round of qualifying, winning the pole with a lap of 123.859 mph.
The pole is the 18th of Truex’s career and his third this season.
“It’s been a crappy two weeks, but that’s part of racing,” said Truex of his 37th and 30th place finishes at Texas and Bristol. “This team, I’ve got so much faith and confidence in them and everything we’re doing, you can’t let those things get you down. It’s nothing we did, it was just circumstances.
“Proud of the effort today, everybody did a great job. We stayed focus on our plan and it worked out. So, just proud of everybody and hopefully we’ll have a great run tomorrow night.”
Chase Elliott will start second following a lap of 123.621 mph, which earned him his best starting spot at Richmond.
Completing the top five were defending race winner Joey Logano (123.581 mph), Denny Hamlin (123.542 mph), and Kyle Larson (123.220 mph).
The rest of the top 10 were Kurt Busch (122.900 mph), Erik Jones (122.872 mph), Jamie McMurray (122.828 mph), William Byron (122.811 mph), and Kevin Harvick (122.805 mph).
Drivers eliminated the second round of qualifying included Ryan Blaney (13th), Jimmie Johnson (17th), rookie Daniel Hemric (22nd) and Austin Dillon (23rd).
Other notables in the field: Brad Keselowski will start 28th and Kyle Busch 32nd.
NEXT UP: The Toyota Owners 400 at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.