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Head To Head: Kenseth vs. Johnson in qualifying

November 07, 2013, Staff report,

Compare Mark Martin's Coors Light Pole-winning lap at Phoenix with two Chase contenders

RELATED: Full Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage

With only two races left in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, drivers are making every move count, especially in Coors Light Pole Qualifying. 

On March 1, Mark Martin set the pace for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway by leading in qualifying with a best speed of 138.074 mph in 26.073 seconds. At 54, Martin became the second-oldest driver to win a pole in NASCAR's premier series.

Martin's lap around the track was recorded by Inifinity Video Systems, and the company's competitive motion analysis shows his lap side-by-side with the laps of the top two Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title contenders.

As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the desert, take a look at how the No. 55 car outpaced its competition. See where Chase competitors gained or lost tenths of a second, translating into track position on the track and pit stall positions off of it.







Mark Martin





Jimmie Johnson





Matt Kenseth




Johnson took a lower line than Kenseth, heading into Turn 2 and allowing him to gain speed on an arc up to the wall. Watch Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Friday (5:40 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 2) to see if the top two drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup follow similar lines.

Johnson leads going into Turn 1, but Martin arcs up closer to the wall to take the advantage off the Turn 2 dogleg, heading down the backstretch. It's neck and neck to the start/finish line, but Martin edges out his former Hendrick Motorsports teammate.

Martin used Turn 1 to sneak under Kenseth's path and cross in front of him to take the lead and extend his advantage down the backstretch. Kenseth closes off of Turn 4 but can't close on him, coming up .0.227 seconds short. 


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