NASCAR at Kentucky 2018 Qualifying Results: Martin Truex Jr. Wins Pole Position

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2018

SPARTA, KY - JULY 13:  Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway on July 13, 2018 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

After winning the race last year, Martin Truex Jr. won pole position for Saturday's Quaker State 400 after posting the fastest time during qualifying at Kentucky Speedway on Friday.

Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.

Below is a look at qualifying results from the day's action.


2018 Quaker State 400 Starting Lineup

1. Martin Truex Jr. (28.588)

2. Erik Jones (28.611)

3. Kevin Harvick (28.640)

4. Brad Keselowski (28.664)

5. Kyle Busch (28.692)

6. Paul Menard (28.705)

7. Ryan Blaney (28.732)

8. Clint Bowyer (28.770)

9. Kurt Busch (28.780)

10. Ryan Newman (28.866)



The pole has become a familiar spot for Truex, as this is his fourth of the season and the 19th of his career. 

Kentucky Speedway @KySpeedway

#UNOHPole winner, MTJ. #QS400 | #NASCAR https://t.co/ppzAVRAKaR

Afterward, he talked about his latest accomplishment:


Listen in to @MartinTruex_Jr following his #BuschPole win at @KySpeedway! https://t.co/2GM4KB99nJ

This result comes after the No. 78 car controlled last year's race. He led for 152 of the 274 laps, and he wound up pulling out the victory in overtime. 

Friday's performance continued Truex's strong performance this season. He has three victories and 12 top-five finishes. Jones narrowly edged him out in double overtime at last week's Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway, and he had to settle for second. Two of his three victories have come in the last five races.

Starting up front gives him a golden opportunity to try to close the gap on NASCAR points leader Kyle Busch.

Speaking of Busch, he was involved in some drama during qualifying. He had some strong words for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for a lack of an apology following a wreck-filled race at Daytona last week. On Friday, the two exchanged some more words:


He may not have reached out during the week, but @StenhouseJr found @KyleBusch before the final round of #BuschPole qualifying at @KySpeedway. Wonder what was said here? 🤔 https://t.co/AfKIYrtgpg


"I felt like he ran his mouth enough ..." — @StenhouseJr on why he didn't reach out to @KyleBusch https://t.co/Ax81DFeS1F

Stenhouse will start in 14th at the Quaker State 400.

Coming off his first career victory at Daytona, Jones managed to ride the momentum and earn himself a spot in the front row alongside Truex.

The action will get underway at 7:30 p.m. ET. Given the ongoing feud between Busch and Stenhouse, among other things, this weekend's race could feature plenty of excitement.