Joe Gibbs racing has swept the front row at Martinsville Speedway. Kyle Busch will start on the pole, with Denny Hamlin next to him.
“We unloaded with a fast car and we tried to dial it in as best we could with race trim and then right there at the last second we did a qualifying run and that was about all we got,” said Busch. “Guys did a good job there making some good changes to it for the qualifying session -- the first one -- and getting us a good lap there.”
For Hamlin, who missed last weekend’s race because of illness, running well at his home track gives him some confidence.
“You just have to perform,” said Hamlin. “I knew, even going into this weekend I knew we were going to be really good contenders and be in the mix anyway. I feel like after running a couple laps of practice I felt like this was a car that was capable of winning. I think really this year with tire management being more of a factor than it’s ever been, it kind of lends itself to my driving style even more. For that reason I think we’ll be tough on Sunday.”
Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon round out the top five.
Kansas native Clint Bowyer advanced to the final round of knock out qualifying, but was the slowest of the group and will start 12th.
“Well that wasn’t what I wanted,” said Bowyer. “I think I had the fastest first lap there in that final session. I should have just gone for it on that first lap, but heck we have been doing a good job in qualifying. We’ve been making it to the final round and I’m proud of this 5-hour ENERGY team for all their hard work.”