Rain washes out qualifying

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- For the third year in a row, qualifying for the spring race at Martinsville Speedway was rained out Friday, and the field was set by point standings.

Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth, both typically poor qualifiers on the oldest, shortest track in NASCAR's premier series, gladly will start on the front row for Sunday's race.

"It could be the worst qualifying front row," Harvick joked. "Obviously this is the place where, if you're going to have that happen, this is the place you want to do it."

Kenseth was equally pleased, not only to get his selection of pit stalls on the narrow pit road, but that the rain came after practice, allowing each team to get some work done.

"The only bad thing is you have nowhere to go but backwards," he said.

The second row will have Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle, followed by Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch in row three, and Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the fourth row.

Johnson said the rain gave Harvick a big advantage because he will get to use the pit stall at the very front of pit road, meaning he can leave the stall unencumbered by traffic.

"It is at least a second and if you have 14-second stop and everybody else has a 13-second stop, you come out even," Johnson said. "So it is a huge advantage."

It is Harvick's first career pole position on the 0.526-mile oval.

The rain also washed out qualifying for the truck race on Saturday, and that gave Harvick a sweep of the pole positions because his team also leads the truck standings.