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Kyle Busch Opens Playoffs On Pole

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 16 2017

Kyle Busch will start Sunday’s Cup race on pole.
(RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

RacinToday.com

Kyle Busch drove to the pole for Sunday’s plahyoff-opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday.

The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing Camry laid down a lap at 28.792-seconds at 187.963 mph to earn the pole.

Teammate Denny Hamlin (186.168 mph) was second in the final round, 0.277 seconds off Busch’s pace.

The pole was Busch’s first at Chicagoland Speedway, his seventh of the season and the 26th of his career.

Ten of the 16 Playoff drivers advanced to the final round, with regular-season champion Martin Truex Jr. qualifying third in the No. 78 Toyota. Kevin Harvick was the top Ford driver in fourth, followed by Keselowski in fifth. Kyle Larson in sixth had the fastest Chevrolet.

Joey Logano in seventh and Clint Bowyer in 11th were the only two non-playoff drivers to crack the top 12.

Kasey Kahne was bumped out of the top 24 in the final minute of the first round and was the only Playoff driver who failed to advance beyond that point.

The disparity between the third-round runs of Busch and Hamlin had the latter wondering where his teammate found such blazing speed when it counted.

“It wasn’t because his car was that much faster,” Hamlin said. “He must have done something inside the car better than I did, so I’ll have to look at the data and see what line he took and how much throttle he used, because I know there’s not three tenths between our cars, for sure.”

Busch had a ready answer.

“It’s because I’m in a Toyota—that’s why right?” he said, taking another not-so-subtle dig at Keselowski. “Just great adjustments there, because we were kind of free there the first couple of runs and were trying to get the balance there.

“And the last run, our balance was way better, and we were able to attack it and get the most out of it. That’s all she had.”

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NASCAR Cup Qualifying Results

Chicagoland Speedway

Joliet, Illinois

Friday, September 15, 2017

  1. (18)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 187.963 mph.
  2. (11)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 186.168 mph.
  3. (78)  Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 185.893 mph.
  4. (4)  Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, 185.656 mph.
  5. (2)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 185.236 mph.
  6. (42)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 185.084 mph.
  7. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 185.077 mph.
  8. (24)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 185.065 mph.
  9. (3)  Austin Dillon (P), Chevrolet, 185.039 mph.
  10. (20)  Matt Kenseth (P), Toyota, 184.024 mph.
  11. (14)  Clint Bowyer, Ford, 183.949 mph.
  12. (21)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 185.147 mph.
  13. (19)  Daniel Suarez #, Toyota, 184.641 mph.
  14. (48)  Jimmie Johnson (P), Chevrolet, 184.414 mph.
  15. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (P), Ford, 184.326 mph.
  16. (31)  Ryan Newman (P), Chevrolet, 184.281 mph.
  17. (41)  Kurt Busch (P), Ford, 183.874 mph.
  18. (37)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 183.231 mph.
  19. (1)  Jamie McMurray (P), Chevrolet, 182.970 mph.
  20. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 182.914 mph.
  21. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 182.729 mph.
  22. (10)  Danica Patrick, Ford, 182.648 mph.
  23. (13)  Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 181.720 mph.
  24. (77)  Erik Jones #, Toyota, 184.729 mph.
  25. (5)  Kasey Kahne (P), Chevrolet, 181.904 mph.
  26. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 181.671 mph.
  27. (34)  Landon Cassill, Ford, 181.659 mph.
  28. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 181.415 mph.
  29. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 181.366 mph.
  30. (95)  Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 181.336 mph.
  31. (38)  David Ragan, Ford, 180.729 mph.
  32. (32)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 179.647 mph.
  33. (23)  Corey LaJoie #, Toyota, 179.235 mph.
  34. (15)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 176.730 mph.
  35. (72)  Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 176.551 mph.
  36. (55)  Gray Gaulding #, Toyota, 176.424 mph.
  37. (33)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 175.222 mph.
  38. (66)  Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 174.261 mph.
  39. (51)  Ray Black II(i), Chevrolet, 170.218 mph.
  40. (83)  Brett Moffitt(i), Toyota, 0.000 mph.
| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 16 2017
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