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Kyle Busch King Of Qualifying Day At Indianapolis

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, July 23 2016
Kyle Busch proved he knows how to qualify at famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday. He collected poles in Sprint Cup and Xfinity series. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

Kyle Busch proved he knows how to qualify at famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday. He collected poles in Sprint Cup and Xfinity series. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

Kyle Busch took the spotlight off of a couple of Indiana favorites who will be starting the final Sprint Cup races of their careers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by winning the pole on Saturday for Sunday’s Brickyard 400.

sprint-logo-08Busch, driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, posted a pole-winning lap at 184.634 mph in the three-session qualifying run at the legendary 2.5-mile IMS track.

The pole is the second of the season for Busch, the defending series champion who has three victories in 2016. It came shortly Busch won the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Indy.

“It means a lot,” Busch said. “It’s definitely pretty special to be running the way that we’re running and to have the success that we’ve had here the last couple of years at Indy and I’d love nothing more than to try to win here again.”

Busch won last year at the Brickyard and has four top-five finishes in 11 starts in the race.

“The last couple of years has been pretty good,” Busch said of Indy. “Definitely been figuring a couple things out I’d guess I’d say and making the most of all the opportunities presented to me. I’ve had some really good cars and I remember the days when I didn’t have such good cars here, but we’ve been doing a good job of working hard and making sure we keep our heads down and keep doing what we need to be doing and focusing on our own thing and I think that’s just the Joe Gibbs Racing tradition of what we do and our guys came here and tested a couple weeks ago and was able to give us a good base line, so kudos to our teammates.”

It’s all added up to give Busch a large helping of confidence at Indy flat track.

“Winning gives you the confidence that you need in order to make sure that you feel like you know what you’re doing here and by being able to win it definitely solidified that and gives you a bit more confidence being able to go in to the following year like right now and being able to run for the pole and qualifying there,” he said. “We certainly hope that it translates into a good race car. I feel like we have a good race car and it’s going to be a long 400 miles and a hot 400 miles here tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Starting next to Busch on Sunday will be teammate Carl Edwards, who laid down a fast lap at
185.547 mph.

“I was happy with my lap and I just – I was surprised Kyle got me,” Edwards said. “That was a good lap for him – I mean, that was a good lap that he ran because I felt like my lap was pretty good – but, yeah, it’s frustrating right now to be second because it’s so close and the pole position is obviously huge here. But by tomorrow, the race gets started and I think I’ll be pretty happy with that starting spot, so just good job by all my guys.”

Indiana native Tony Stewart, who is retiring from racing Cup cars after the season and, hence, is likely making his final start at his beloved Indianapolis Motor Speedway, qualified third fastest with a lap at 184.328 mph in his Stewart-Haas Chevrolet.

The top-three qualifying effort extends a Stewart hot streak which has seen him record top-10 finishes in four of his last five starts.

“I think it’s a direct reflection of it 100 percent,” he said of the relation between his Cup momentum and his good qualifying effort at Indy. “We just have been plugging away.  Everybody thinks Sonoma (where he won four races ago) was the game changer and it wasn’t.  I mean it was Pocono, it was Michigan – those two races leading up to Sonoma were probably as big if not bigger than what we did at Sonoma.  Sonoma just gave us the opportunity to hopefully use what we are doing to get going in the Chase now.”

Jeff Gordon, the other Indiana favorite son who has come out of retirement to fill in for Hendrick Motorsport’s injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., advanced to the second round of qualifying but not the third. He will start 21st.

“The first lap was good,” Gordon said. “The car was a little bit tight.  I felt like put four corners together to get us through to the second round, which is part of the goal.  Then based on that I thought we could make some slight adjustments and improve it for that second round.

“Unfortunately, I got loose going into Turn 1 and the car just kind of did something I didn’t anticipate.  It wasn’t like that in the first round.  So, that kind of got me off and lost the momentum and from that point on I knew it wasn’t going to be a good lap.  A little disappointed with that, but I’m having fun working with Greg (Ives, crew chief) and all the guys on this No. 88 team.  I feel really good about the things that we learned yesterday at the end of practice.  I would have liked to have been started further forward, but you know we have some work to do.  I look forward to the challenge tomorrow.”


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Speedway, Indiana

Saturday, July 23, 2016

  1. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 184.634 mph.
  2. (19)  Carl Edwards, Toyota, 184.547 mph.
  3. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 184.328 mph.
  4. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 184.079 mph.
  5. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 183.591 mph.
  6. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 183.202 mph.
  7. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 182.852 mph.
  8. (78)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 182.500 mph.
  9. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 182.463 mph.
  10. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 182.386 mph.
  11. (41)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 182.349 mph.
  12. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 182.286 mph.
  13. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 183.554 mph.
  14. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 183.273 mph.
  15. (24)  Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 183.068 mph.
  16. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 183.020 mph.
  17. (21)  Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 182.823 mph.
  18. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 182.223 mph.
  19. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 182.057 mph.
  20. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 181.980 mph.
  21. (88)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 181.851 mph.
  22. (34)  Chris Buescher #, Ford, 181.265 mph.
  23. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 181.196 mph.
  24. (10)  Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 180.058 mph.
  25. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 183.169 mph.
  26. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 183.109 mph.
  27. (95)  Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 182.819 mph.
  28. (23)  David Ragan, Toyota, 182.400 mph.
  29. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 182.219 mph.
  30. (83)  Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 182.083 mph.
  31. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 181.932 mph.
  32. (44)  Brian Scott #, Ford, 181.690 mph.
  33. (38)  Landon Cassill, Ford, 181.342 mph.
  34. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 180.792 mph.
  35. (98)  Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 179.651 mph.
  36. (93)  Ryan Ellis(i), Toyota, 179.019 mph.
  37. (7)  Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 178.356 mph.
  38. (46)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 177.978 mph.
  39. (55)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 176.180 mph.
  40. (32)  Patrick Carpentier, Ford, 174.027 mph.


1 drivers failed to qualify.


  1. (30)  Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 170.658 mph.



| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, July 23 2016
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