DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The unique qualifying process for the Daytona 500 provides a week's worth of publicity for the two drivers who clinch spots on the front row.
Does that advantage translate into anything for the race?
Over the past decade it hasn't.
Since the 2001 Daytona 500, only one pole winner -- Bill Elliott in 2001 -- has finished the race among the top five. Only two drivers starting from the second spot -- Jimmie Johnson in 2005 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. last season -- have done so.
During the 52 Daytona 500s, the record isn't much better. Only 15 drivers starting on the front row have gone on to win the race, the most recent in 2000 when Dale Jarrett won from the pole.
Qualifying for the front row for the Daytona 500 will begin at 1:05 p.m. EST on Sunday (Fox) at Daytona International Speedway. The rest of the lineup will be set by Thursday's Gatorade Duels.
There is one recent constant: Mark Martin has started from the front row the past two seasons. He was second in 2009 and won the pole in 2010.
"I look forward to going to the race track with a great group of guys. I want to make a contribution to Hendrick Motorsports," Martin said.
"I would like to be able to help (crew chief Lance McGrew) and the entire team realize their full potential."
Martin made a huge impact during his first season with Hendrick in 2009, winning five Cup races and finishing runner-up to teammate Johnson in the championship race.
Last season was a struggle as Martin failed to win a race, missed the Chase for the Sprint Cup and finished 13th in points.
Following an offseason shakeup, Martin has a new crew chief, McGrew, who worked last season with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
And with this his final season with Hendrick, Martin says there's no time to waste to turn things around.
"It makes me really get engaged because I feel I am behind and I've got to go, we've got ground to make up fast. It gets you up on the balls of your feet," he said.
"That's what I've done every time there has been a change. I didn't look at it and slouch down in my seat and say, 'We'll see how this works.' I get up and it's like, 'I'm going to make this work.'
"That's where I am and I think that the unknowns push you to be more engaged and push yourself to do more. That's certainly where I think we are."
So far, Martin hasn't disappointed.
He was fastest during both of Saturday's practice s, with a best lap at 184.877 mph in the first session and 185.311 mph in the second.