It’s clear there is something about qualifying at Sonoma that brings out the best out of Jamie McMurray. On Saturday the Joplin, Missouri native won his second straight pole at the California road course and the first pole under the new knockout qualifying format, with a fast lap of 96.350 mph.
"This knockout qualifying is just an emotional rollercoaster," said McMurray, who's sponsor is Wichita based Cessna. "From not making the top 12 and having to go out and bump your way back in and then being on the pole, there's a lot of highs and lows that go along with it."
McMurray’s teammate Kyle Larson is also fast, the rookie will start third.
"We obviously have a couple really good cars at Chip Ganassi Racing," said Larson. "It would have been nice to get the pole, but Jamie was really fast. “
AJ Allmendinger who won two races on the road courses in the Nationwide series a year ago will start second, with Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five.
Kansas native Clint Bowyer, who won at Sonoma in 2012, had a disappointing day of qualifying and will start 25th on Sunday.
“Well that wasn’t what we expected,” said Bowyer. “We were fast all day yesterday -- just didn't have enough grip and missed turn four. We will just have to pass a few more cars tomorrow.”