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Subway Fresh Fit 500: Mark Martin Wins Pole At Phoenix

Ageless wonder Mark Martin will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500. The 53-year-old beat Regan Smith, who was seeking to win his first-career Sprint Cup pole, then held off Tony Stewart to claim the top starting spot at the Phoenix International Raceway. Stewart, Smith, Jimmie Johnson, and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top-five.

The top-ten was rounded out by Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Kasey Kahne. Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth qualified 26th, while defending race winner Jeff Gordon was only 30th fastest. David Ragan of Unadilla timed in 34th in car No. 34. Only one driver, rookie contender Timmy Hill, failed to qualify. Hill was hoping to make his Sprint Cup debut.

Martin toured the one-mile d-shaped oval in 26.313 seconds, beating Stewart by .133 seconds for his 52nd-career pole position and the second of his career at PIR. Martin is making his second start in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. The beloved veteran was so elated after claiming the top spot he climbed atop the door of his blue and white machine and saluted the fans as though he had won the race.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.