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Kurt Busch On Pole At Pocono

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 11 2011

Kurt Busch won the pole at Pocono on Saturday afternoon. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

On Friday, Kurt Busch’s Sprint Cup car was a wad of metal. Saturday, it was on the pole for Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Speedway.

It was the Penske Racing driver’s second straight pole as he captured the one at Kansas Speedway last weekend.

Busch’s lap was at 171.579 mph. It gave him the 14th pole of his career.

It came a day after he crashed in practice.

“Quite a bit of emotions today, especially after having to burst out the backup car after yesterday’s mishap,” Busch said. “To go out there today, if it was raining, we would be starting last.  And now, luckily the weather held out and we’re on the pole.  An amazing swing of events.  An honest thank you to my guys, especially the ones back at the shop preparing the cars.

“To pull a backup out that’s a pole-winning car, that’s something you really wouldn’t hear about back in the day.  It would be all-right, we’re going to have to struggle through the weekend; it’s not the best piece (car).

“It’s great to come back out and be on the pole again.  As a race car driver, I was really, really, really worried with the number 13, I thought I was going to get stuck on the 13th pole for a long while, but number 14 already, we’re moving on.”

Paul Menard of Richard Childress Racing was next with a lap at 171.422 mph.
“Our car is good,” Menard said. “We anticipated rain today so we did a mock run early and we’re trying to start up front. I was hoping for rain, honestly; but to start second in the race after qualifying is a lot more meaningful. The guys have just done a great job all weekend. Long runs. We made a couple of 10-lap runs yesterday and we’re happy with the car. We need to work on a couple little things but it doesn’t fall off as much as we’ve seen a lot of cars do.”

Jeff Gordon was third in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He had a lap at 171.350 mph.

“It was a nice complete lap, I guess that is what a lap…I swear I’m still saying they need to re-check the time,” Gordon said. “I don’t know, it just didn’t feel like it was that fast, because, that is fast around here, especially from what we were running yesterday in practice. Couldn’t be more proud of the guys on this DuPont Chevrolet. Made great adjustments. The car was definitely well balanced, and I am really excited about that lap definitely.”

Fourth was Denny Hamlin in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. His fast lap was 171.174 mph.

Regan Smith laid down a fast lap at 171.164 mph to qualify fifth.

Carl Edwards sixth, Marcos Ambrose was seventh and Ryan Newman was eighth.

Rounding out the top 10 were David Reutimann and Mark Martin.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 11 2011
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