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Kyle Busch Earns Cup Pole At Watkins Glen

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 13 2011

Kyle Busch heads to the pole on Saturday at Watkins Glen. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

Kyle Busch went out last in Saturday’s Sprint Cup qualifying session at Watkins Glen International and came home first.

Busch won the pole for Sunday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips race with a lap at 126.421 mph.

A.J. Allmendinger of Richard Petty Motorsports was second fastest in qualifying with a lap at 126.041 mph.

Third fastest was Allmendinger’s RPM teammate, Marcos Ambrose. Ambrose had a lap 125.984.

Fourth was five-time champion Jimmie Johnson while former Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr. and Regan Smith.

The pole is the first of the season for Busch, who has three victories.

Asked if he’s surprised by having just one pole, Busch said,  “No, I’m not surprised.  I’m not a pole go-getter.   I count the Kentucky pole, but others may not.   I earned it.  I was fastest in practice there.   Certainly it pays dividends to win it on your own, especially at a road course.   I’ve never won a road course pole before so this feels really good.  I’ve won races at road courses, but have yet to be the fastest guy for one lap.  Today we did that.

“Joey Logano did it in Sonoma so JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) sweeps the road course poles, which is great.  Hopefully we can get a win.   We felt like we had a strong run going until late in the going in Sonoma.   We got in somebody else’s mess, but hopefully here this weekend we can keep that clean and set our own pace and hopefully try to win.”

Until Busch stole the pole on the final qualifying run of the day, it looked like the race would feature and all Richard Petty Motorsports front row.

Allmendinger said he was disappointed but not crushed about P2.

“I’ve always liked Watkins Glen a little bit more than Sonoma,” he said.  “I feel like I’ve struggled at Sonoma.  Watkins Glen is a race track that you’ve really got to be aggressive on and you can really kind of just hang the car out, and I feel I’ve always been pretty good here, so I look at this track – coming to it – if we can build some momentum and get a good finish tomorrow, we’re right there in points.

“Obviously, if we get a win that puts us with a chance for the Chase, but I’m not looking at that as make or break.  I feel like if we can just keep getting better as the year goes on and have a good, strong finish to the end of the season that that’s gonna be what I’m gonna look at for our season and really build off of that, so this is a great place to start.  We’ve always been fast here.”

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 13 2011
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