Martin Truex Jr. to start fifth in Phoenix, Jones 11th

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Martin Truex Jr. qualified fifth and his Furniture Row Racing teammate Erik Jones qualified 11th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway.

Truex wheeled the No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota to a pole-round lap of 26.166 seconds at 137.583 mph around the 1-mile oval. He will line up on the inside of Row 3 next to Kevin Harvick.

“We really tried today to qualify better here,” said Truex. “The last couple times, we’ve been fast in practice and not qualified so well. Today, we were fast in practice again and the first two rounds we weren’t looking like we were going to qualify so well (16th and ninth). So picking up to fifth, I was happy with that. Just little bit too loose the last round to really get after it.”

Jones’ pole round lap in the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota was 26.398 at 136.374 mph. He will line up on the inside of Row 6 next to Jimmie Johnson.

“The things I used to do here to make speed didn’t seem to work this time,” said Jones. “I’ll just have to figure that out and figure out what we need to do to go faster. The 5-hour ENERGY Toyota team will keep working on the car with the TRD guys and keep looking at stuff to see what we can do to improve for tomorrow.”

Ryan Blaney won the pole. The balance of the top 12 qualifiers were Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Truex, Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez, Jones and Johnson.

The 312-lap Can-Am 500 will air live Sunday beginning at 12:30 p.m. MT (2:30 p.m. ET) on NBC, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN.

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