- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

BRISTOL, TENN. (AP) - Mark Martin went seven years without winning a pole. Now he’s got two in a row.

Martin has won the pole at Bristol Motor Speedway. He turned a lap at 125.773 mph to earn the top starting spot for Friday’s race.

It marks the first time in 20 years that Martin has won consecutive poles. He did it at Darlington and Bristol in 1989.

The 50-year-old driver has done it this year at Atlanta two weeks ago, and now Bristol.

Ryan Newman qualified second for Sunday’s race and three-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson was third. Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne round out the top five.

Jeremy Mayfield and Scott Riggs are the two drivers who failed to qualify. Both had raced their way into the season-opening Daytona 500.

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