Jamie McMurray in pole position for Toyota / Save Mart 350
AJ Allmendinger was looking certain to take pole position for Sundays NASCAR race at Sonoma but McMurray took the spot on his first run when, as the last driver to try, he made the best time. He managed a speed of 96.350mph which broke the track qualifying record set by Marcos Ambrose in 2012. Allmendinger also broke the track record, but his record did not stand for very long. In fact 22 of the drivers beat the record in their laps, firstly Joey Logano and many drivers kept improving their times despite the fact that many tyres fell off. This is McMurray’s third pole position on this track and the tenth in his career.
To start with things did not look good for McMurray as he did not even reach the top twelve after his first round but another lap allowed him to do that, but he was concerned that it would mean that he would ruin his chances of pole. He explained that the knockout qualifying makes it difficult as you have to fight hard to get in to the top twelve and then try to get to pole position but he was pleased with the overall result.
Kyle Larson qualified in third place. This will be his first Sprint Cup road race. Larson said that he had discussed the course with his team mate McMurray and that had really helped him. They waited to make sure that they would get a clean lap and that allowed then to have the best possible chance of winning.
In fourth place was Carl Edwards followed by Kurt Busch, Keven Harvick, Ryan Newman, Brian Vickers, Paul Manard, Joey Logano, Danica Patrick and Casey Mears. The big surprise of the competition was that Ambrose did not even manage to qualify for the final round, despite setting he track record that many drivers managed to beat. He only managed to reach 23rd position and will therefore start in that position which will be one place behind Jimmie Johnson.