(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) Jamie McMurray bumped all eight of NASCAR's championship contenders with a surprising pole-winning run Friday at Martinsville Speedway.
McMurray, who did not qualify this year for the Chase for the Sprint Cup title, set a qualifying record with a lap of 99.905 mph to nudge the six championship-eligible drivers who had advanced with him into the final round of qualifying. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver felt he had a shot at the pole based on a strong test session with his team earlier this month.
"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," McMurray said. "Our cars have been so quick the past two or three months. This is a great track for me, we had a really good test, and when things are going well, you get excited to come to the track."