NASCAR at Martinsville 2016 Qualifying Results: Race Order, Times, Reaction

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 28:  Martin Truex Jr, driver of the #78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions at Martinsville Speedway on October 28, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup is down to the Round of 8, which will commence with the Goody's Fast Relief 500 from Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on Sunday.  

On Friday afternoon, Martin Truex Jr. took the pole in qualifying for the second straight week—one week after he was eliminated from the Chase, via NASCAR:

He'll lead a field that looks like this:

Goody's Fast Relief 500 Qualifying Results
RankDriverTime
1Martin Truex Jr.19.282
2Joey Logano*19.290
3Jimmie Johnson*19.354
4AJ Allmendinger19.376
5Chase Elliott19.382
6Tony Stewart19.385
7Carl Edwards*19.399
8Denny Hamlin*19.418
9Kyle Busch*19.420
10Jeff Gordon19.436
11Kyle Larson19.541
12David Ragan19.556
2nd Cut
13Ryan Newman19.437
14Jamie McMurray19.447
15Ryan Blaney19.463
16Aric Almirola19.463
17Matt Kenseth*19.477
18Paul Menard19.487
19Brad Keselowski19.507
20Kevin Harvick*19.512
21Regan Smith19.512
22Kasey Kahne19.520
23Kurt Busch*19.528
24Danica Patrick19.539
1st Cut
25Greg Biffle19.510
26Casey Mears19.520
27Matt DiBenedetto19.520
28Clint Bowyer19.558
29Chris Buescher19.589
30Michael McDowell19.591
31Trevor Bayne19.608
32Austin Dillon19.616
33Landon Cassill19.788
34Reed Sorenson19.853
35Brian Scott19.871
36Gary Gaulding19.902
37Dylan Lupton19.976
38Jeffrey Earnhardt20.028
39Ricky Stenhouse Jr.20.362
40Michael AnnettDNF
*Denotes Chase driver

He edged Chase drivers Joey Logano (by 0.008 seconds) and Jimmie Johnson (0.032 seconds), who will start second and third, respectively.

Even if he won't win the Chase this year, Truex did set his sights on the grandfather clock awarded each year to the winner at Martinsville, via Furniture Row Racing:

Martinsville was not going to yield a lot of speed; however, the tight conditions did result in close qualifying times that left a thin margin between the difference of a solid starting place and a subpar one. 

On a track nicknamed "The Paperclip," Martinsville is just a little over a half-mile with virtually no banking on its narrow turns. 

That forced drivers to take tight turns at speeds as low as 70 mph on a cement track that didn't provide the most grip, so wheels were hopping early. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. experienced it the hard way as he spun out, via NASCAR:

Austin Dillon didn't fare much better:

The eight Chase drivers remaining managed to make it past the first round of cuts unscathed, but three went down in the second. 

Kurt Busch will start in 23rd and in the worst position of the remaining postseason drivers. Kevin Harvick nabbed the 20th spot, and fourth-place Matt Kenseth qualified for 17th. 

For the rest of the Chase drivers, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch will start together at seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.

With the Chase standings knotted at 4,000 points apiece for each of the final eight drivers, securing a good starting spot for the first race of the Round of 8 was imperative. 

Given the tight quarters on the track, there is going to be plenty of bumping and grinding come Sunday, which will create tough passing conditions for drivers who are desperate to move up the field.

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