Friday March 6, 2009
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) -- Mark Martin has claimed the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his first top spot since 2001.
The 50-year-old Martin qualified first Friday night with a speed of 187.045 mph, his 42nd career pole but first since May 5, 2001, at Richmond. Kurt Busch will start from the outside of the front row.
Ryan Newman missed out in a bid for his eighth career pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway, remaining tied with Buddy Baker for the most in track history. Newman qualified 12th in his Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet.
Forty-seven drivers took part in qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 500. Todd Bodine, Scott Riggs, Jeremy Mayfield and Geoff Bodine failed to make the 43-car field.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)