MARTINSVILLE, VA (March 28, 2014) – Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion, qualified third for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway, the STP 500, and set a new track record at the half-mile, paperclip-shaped oval in the process.
Logano’s lap of 18.898 seconds (100.201 mph) broke the old track record and was the fastest of the first session in Friday’s “knockout” qualifying. Logano has now been the fastest in a qualifying session on five different occasions this season (first session in Phoenix, second and third sessions in Las Vegas, first session in Bristol, first session in Martinsville). Unfortunately, Logano could not back up his time in the final round of qualifying, running the third-fastest time of the session and locking him into inside of the second row for Sunday’s action.
“I’m getting good at qualifying up front, but unfortunately it’s in the wrong sessions,” said Logano. “We’ve been able to be up front a lot in these things, but just not in the right session. That’s alright though. It just goes to show how hard these guys on the Shell-Pennzoil team are working and how good of racecars that we are turning out of the Team Penske shops. It sucks to set a track record and not get the pole though. Who would have ever of thought something like that could happen? Sunday is the big picture though and that’s what we are going after.”
Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski saw his streak of front-row starting positions snap at four after turning a lap of 19.141 seconds (98.929 mph) in the first session. Unfortunately, the lap was not good enough to advance Keselowski to the second round. That leaves Logano and Jimmie Johnson as the only drivers this year to qualify for the final round of all the “knockout” qualifying sessions run thus far.
The STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway will air live Sunday, March 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX. Race coverage will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 90.