Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Martin Truex earns Sprint Cup pole at Pocono

LONG POND, Pa. — Martin Truex has one of his four career Sprint Cup wins at Pocono Raceway. He added his 10th career pole, too.

Truex extended Toyota's recent romp, and turned a lap of 179.244 mph to win the pole Friday.

Truex and Carl Edwards made it a 1-2 Toyota front row for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400. Edwards just missed the top spot for Joe Gibbs Racing with a lap of 178.873 and he thought his No. 19 Toyota might have had enough to best Truex's chart-topping speed.

"That must have felt really good because mine was great," Edwards said.

Toyota has 10 wins this season and nine in the past 15 races, highlighted by consecutive wins by JGR drivers Matt Kenseth at New Hampshire and Kyle Busch last weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"It's a really neat time to be driving a Toyota for Joe Gibbs," Edwards said. "Hopefully, we can keep this rolling.

Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman completed the top five.

Road woes: Typically, Sprint Cup drivers talk about the great danger in the "Big One," a multi-car wreck during restrictor-plate races at Daytona and Talladega super speedways

But Brad Keselowski got an ugly reminder Tuesday that road courses can be just as perilous.

Keselowski was testing at Watkins Glen, where the Sprint Cup series goes next weekend. His rear brakes failed, triggering a terrifying crash through a tire barrier. He was unhurt.

Keselowski said the angles of crashes at road courses (Sonoma being the other one on the Sprint Cup schedule), combined with the lack of containment at these layouts, create a unique risk.

"In general, I'm not comfortable with tracks that have run-offs that lead to very harsh angles," Keselowski said Friday at Pocono.

"Road courses remain the most dangerous tracks in motorsports for a good reason — because of that. … It's funny; we talk about (the risks at) Daytona and Talladega. They don't ever worry me as much as these road courses do."

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