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During a year in which he has had his fair share of rotten luck, the racing gods smiled down upon Martin Truex Jr. on Friday. Truex secured the pole for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

The No. 78 car posted a top speed of 179.244 mph and overall time of 50.211 seconds in the final round of qualifying, which was 0.104 seconds faster than Carl Edwards. Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman rounded out the five fastest cards. Below is the full running order for Sunday, per NASCAR.com:

Pennsylvania 400 Qualifying
1 Martin Truex Jr. 179.244 50.211
2 Carl Edwards 178.873 50.315
3 Paul Menard 178.671 50.372
4 Denny Hamlin 178.540 50.409
5 Ryan Newman 178.433 50.439
6 Tony Stewart 178.394 50.450
7 Brad Keselowski 178.359 50.460
8 Chase Elliott 177.571 50.684
9 Matt Kenseth 177.413 50.729
10 Joey Logano 177.151 50.804
11 Kyle Larson 177.082 50.824
12 Austin Dillon 176.835 50.895
13 A.J. Allmendinger 177.322 50.755
14 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 177.281 50.767
15 Kurt Busch 177.183 50.795
16 Kyle Busch 177.054 50.832
17 Kevin Harvick 176.988 50.851
18 Ryan Blaney 176.880 50.882
19 Jamie McMurray 176.574 50.970
20 Casey Mears 176.478 50.998
21 Jimmie Johnson 176.091 51.110
22 Chris Buescher 176.084 51.112
23 Kasey Kahne 175.901 51.165
24 Jeff Gordon 175.706 51.222
25 Greg Biffle 175.603 51.252
26 Danica Patrick 175.404 51.310
27 Aric Almirola 174.985 51.433
28 Clint Bowyer 174.257 51.648
29 Michael McDowell 174.236 51.654
30 Regan Smith 173.826 51.776
31 Trevor Bayne 173.534 51.863
32 Landon Cassill 173.491 51.876
33 David Ragan 173.077 52.000
34 Matt DiBenedetto 172.874 52.061
35 Brian Scott 172.209 52.262
36 Cole Whitt 171.716 52.412
37 Jeb Burton 171.429 52.500
38 Josh Wise 170.451 52.801
39 Michael Annett 169.750 53.019
40 Reed Sorenson 158.615 56.741

Source: NASCAR.com

Truex already has one win this season, so he’s all but assured of a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. In that respect, he isn’t heading into the weekend in desperate need of a victory. Getting a second checkered flag would mean climbing in the standings, though, potentially as high as third place—up from ninth.

NASCAR on NBCSN shared his reaction after the race:

Perhaps it’s fate that Truex’s last pole—the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29—coincided with his only win in 2016.

A little further down the starting grid, Jeff Gordon qualified for 24th ahead of his second race back since he started filling in for an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gordon started in 21st and finished in 13th in last week’s Brickyard 400.

All things considered, that was a more than positive result for Gordon. Historically speaking, starting in 24th may not be a bad development for the legendary driver, either. He placed second at Gobowling.com 400 at Pocono in August 2013 despite qualifying for 22nd. The year before that, he won after starting 27th.

ESPN.com’s Bob Pockrass shared an anecdote from one fan who was simply happy to see Gordon at Pocono again:

Gordon’s performance Sunday won’t have any Chase implications, but seeing him in Victory Lane again would be a cool moment.

The stakes for Kasey Kahne, Trevor Bayne and Ryan Blaney will be higher this weekend. They’re the three highest-ranked drivers outside of the Chase. Bayne and Blaney probably need a win to get inside the top 16, but Kahne is only 10 points behind Kyle Larson.

Kahne will be starting in 23rd. He has two wins at Pocono over his career, with the last coming in 2013. With three top-10 finishes in his last four races there, he could potentially track down Larson.

With just six races left until the Chase begins, Kahne and his fellow drivers don’t have much longer to secure themselves a place in the top 16.



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