Mark Martin gets his first Pole at Michigan International Speedway

By Brian Berg Jr.

Mark Martin goes out third to last during NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying and runs the fastest lap to get the pole for the Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.  Mark was third in Sprint Cup practice and was able to improve his speed to 199.706 MPH.  The speeds in qualifying were much slower than the speeds back in June when the track surface was newly paved.  In June Marcos Ambrose set a new track qualifying record of 203.241 MPH. “I really stretch the limits of my talent in the first lap” Mark said of his first lap of qualifying.  He sure did and wasn’t able to better it on the second lap.

Mark Martin knew he had a great car but wasn’t sure if it would stay that way when qualifying started.  “It is very important to have the feel that you need so you can carry momentum and be committed going into turn 1” Mark said about his car.  “I gave it everything I had”

This is the 55th pole for 53 year old Mark Martin.  He is now tied with for seventh in poles all time with Bill Elliott.  Although Mark Martin is running a limited schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing in the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine, he isn’t slowing down.  Mark has posting four poles this year and nine top ten starts.  Mark is 26th in the Sprint Cup Standings.  The No. 55 car is 17th in the Owner Standings.   Mark said, “I am surprised, I was surprised in 2009 at what we were able to accomplish, I was surprised in 2011 that we were not able to accomplish anything special, I was surprised again this year to be able to accomplish what we have been able to.”  “In this business I don’t expect results, I expect effort, and the one thing you get from me is every once you can find. “

Carl Edwards said of Mark Martin. “So in the last eight races he has only participated in three of them?  He is living the dream.  He has had a successful career and is able to pick and choose which races he is going to run and he performs well at them.”

Mark Martin is really enjoying his part time driving duties and is poised to have a great run and perhaps win the Michigan 400. “I feel a little bit of the magic I felt in 2009 working with Rodney Childers and my teammates and the incredible staff at MWR”, said Mark.

Carl Edwards starts second, Jimmie Johnson third, Matt Kenseth fourth and Kasey Kahne fifth.   Stephen Leicht and J J Yeley did not make the race.

Brian Berg Jr. is the Lead NASCAR writer for

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary. On Facebook at NASCAR News and Commentary


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