Mark Martin Takes Daytona 500 Pole Position

After the first qualifying session of the new Sprint Cup season, we can easily say that Hendrick Motorsports did not make fouls out of themselves when offering Mark Martin an extension to his former deal with the team. And that’s because the former Sprint Cup champion seems to get better with age.

Martin yesterday became the oldest driver in the history of the Daytona 500 to clinch pole position in a point-scoring Sprint Cup event. The 51-year old beat none other than his very teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the first position at the starting line, with a time margin of under one tenth of a second.

This is really special, what a way to start the season. It's such an accomplishment for Hendrick Motorsports, but specially the #5 and #88 shop. Dale is locked in the front row with a rocketship car. You know, he may be the man to beat come next Sunday,” said Martin after the qualifying was over.

The Sprint Cup veteran will therefore start his very first season in career from pole position at Daytona, and will also try to score his first win in the aforementioned race.

I've had a great career and had a lot of good stuff happen for me but (winning the Daytona 500) trophy would be the biggest one,” added Martin.

According to the qualifying format for the Daytona 500, the rest of the lineup will be decided during the Gatorade duels on the Thursday prior to the race. Until then, the provisional Top 10 from 3rd place onwards looked like this: Ryan Newman, Bill Elliott, Juan Montoya, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon.

The Daytona 500 is scheduled to take place on February 14, and will count, as usual, for the season opening round of the Sprint Cup Series.
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