Jamie McMurray, driving the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, will lead the field to green for Sunday’s 66th Annual Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. McMurray won the Coors Light Pole Award with a lap time of 18.954 seconds or 99.905 mph. McMurray broke the previous track record held by Kyle Busch set Mar. 30, 2014 with a speed of 99.674 mph. This will make 22 track records that have been broken for the 2014 season.
McMurray has 11 pole awards in 435 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, and his second pole to come at the paperclip shaped track of Martinsville Speedway, with his first in 2011. This is McMurray’s second pole of the 2014 season with his first coming at Sonoma.
“Our cars have been so quick, really the past two or three months,” McMurray said during post qualifying interviews, with his son Carter by his side. “We made the car better throughout the test and hit on a couple of things that really had a lot of speed in it, so I was pretty excited about getting here this weekend.”
Although McMurray has yet to win a NASCAR points race for this season, McMurray and the #1 team did take the All-Star victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, he said there has been a noticeable improvement for the #1 team.
Six of the eight remaining Chase drivers made it to the final qualifying session with Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, the NASCAR Sprint Cup series points leader starting on the front row beside McMurray, with a speed of 99.605 mph. Matt Kenseth will start third, beside Tony Stewart starting fourth, followed by another pair of Chase drivers Denny Hamlin in fifth and Brad Keselowski in sixth. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch will start seventh and eighth respectively followed by another Chase driver Ryan Newman, and Kurt Busch, Chase driver Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer round out the top-12 drivers to start.
Jeff Gordon failed to advance past the first round of qualifying, after having led Friday’s only practice session, he will start 13th. With 43 cars attempting to qualify all entrants made the field for the race.
The surprise in qualifying was Kevin Harvick, who slammed into the wall twice and failed to advance to Round 2 of qualifying. Harvick has won a season high of eight poles and is consistently one of the fastest cars on the track during qualifying. Harvick will start 33rd on for Sunday’s race, the worst of the eight Chase drivers.
We just missed it today,” Harvick said in a statement released by his team. “We were way too loose. We struggled in practice and just missed it in qualifying. We have to get better (Saturday) and be ready to go on Sunday.”
The Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 will be Sunday, Oct. 26, with television coverage on ESPN starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.