- Associated Press - Friday, April 27, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. — Mark Martin watched and waited as 44 other drivers made two qualifying laps around Richmond International Raceway on Friday night, then went out and beat them all to win the pole for the Saturday night Sprint Cup race.

Martin turned the second-fastest lap on his first circuit around the 0.75-mile, D-shaped oval, then nudged Carl Edwards to the outside of the front row with a lap at 128.327 mph. Edwards‘ top lap at 128.290 had hung on through 17 drivers.

But the savvy Martin got Edwards‘ attention right away, then claimed his 53rd career pole and fifth atRichmond.

Kevin Harvick will start third, followed by A.J. Allmendinger and Kyle Busch.

The second five includes Jeff Gordon, local product Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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