Rain cancels qualifying at Martinsville; Truex to start from pole

Mar 24, 2018; Martinsville, VA, USA; Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (78) drives during practice for the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota will start from pole for Sunday’s STP 500 after rain cancelled today’s qualifying session.

UPDATE: Weather has postponed Sunday’s race until Monday at approximately 12 p.m. MDT.

Per the NASCAR rulebook, the current leader in the owner point standings is awarded the pole position when qualifying is cancelled. Truex and the Furniture Row Racing team assumed the No. 1 position after last week’s victory at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

“Absolutely, Martinsville, it’s definitely a big advantage to start out front,” said Truex. “First pit box obviously, everyone knows it’s a big deal here and that’s where you want to be so you get that clean stall in and out and not get torn up on pit road.

“I think here more than anywhere we go, it doesn’t change over time, but it changes throughout a weekend more than anywhere we go. It’s definitely a unique place and we’re definitely getting closer I feel like. Obviously we ran really well here really both races here last year, but mostly in the fall we had a good run and ran consistently up front all day.”

Truex was fastest in both of today’s practice sessions. He had earned the pole for the previous two races, in Fontana and at ISM Raceway near Phoenix, based on the quickest qualifying laps.

The balance of the top 12 qualifiers, based on owner point standings, are: Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, and Austin Dillon.

Sunday’s STP 500 will air live beginning at noon p.m. MT (2 p.m. ET) on Fox, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN.

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