Kyle Busch On The Cup Pole In Atlanta

| , RacinToday.com Friday, February 23 2018

Kyle Busch drove to the pole Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Andrew Coppley)


Kyle Busch streaked to the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway when he laid down a lap of 184.652 mph during Friday’s three-stage qualifying.

“We seemed to be getting beat on every single run through (turns) 1 and 2,” Busch said. “But there, during that final run, I felt we got through 1 and 2 better and I was just like don’t screw up 3 and 4. I felt like 3 and 4 were pretty normal. We were really good through the 3 and 4 end the previous round. I didn’t want to screw that up with some of the adjustments we were making to get this Snickers Almond Camry faster than it was.”

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver and 2915 Cup champion edged Ryan Newman, who had a lap at 184.419 mph in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

“I look forward to the weekend,” Newman said. “It’s one of the best race tracks we come to for being able to handle and work your magic inside the race car because that’s what it all comes down to.”

 Third was Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing while Daniel Suarez of JGR was fourth. Brad Keselowski of Team Penske rounded out the top five.

Austin Dillon, who won last weekend’s Daytona 500, qualified 25th in the No. 3 RCR car. Darrell Wallace who was second in the 500, qualified 19th.

Reigning Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. did not make a qualifying attempt after the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota failed the Optical Scanning Station three times during pre-qualifying inspection.

Blake Harris, car chief for the No. 78 team, has been ejected for the remainder of the race weekend. Truex will start at the rear of the field for Sunday’s race and will lose 30 minutes of practice time on Saturday.

Truex will line up 35th on the inside of Row 18 for Sunday’s 325-lap race on the 1.54-mile oval.

“NASCAR’s new inspection process is just that … new,” said Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing. “The tolerances are very tight, within thousandths of an inch. It’s difficult to push the limits where you feel you need to and still be within the tolerances of the new system. One thing we won’t do is leave anything on the table and expect to get poles and wins. We will always push for the maximum.”

Ironically, Truex was asked about the new inspection process earlier in the day.

“It’s a great question,” he said. I” think we’ll find out here in about two hours. I know that our guys are planning – we stopped practice early just to try to get a jump start and have good plan going into this system today just to see what happens. We’re trying to get ahead of the curve. It has potential to be very difficult, it depends on how many guys have to go around and what type of lane that creates.”


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Hampton, Georgia

Friday, February 23, 2018

  1. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 184.652 mph.
  2. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 184.419 mph.
  3. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 184.388 mph.
  4. (19)  Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 184.229 mph.
  5. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 183.856 mph.
  6. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 183.722 mph.
  7. (41)  Kurt Busch, Ford, 183.485 mph.
  8. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 183.449 mph.
  9. (14)  Clint Bowyer, Ford, 182.284 mph.
  10. (20)  Erik Jones, Toyota, 181.052 mph.
  11. (10)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 183.430 mph.
  12. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 182.952 mph.
  13. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 182.825 mph.
  14. (95)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 182.507 mph.
  15. (21)  Paul Menard, Ford, 182.464 mph.
  16. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 182.129 mph.
  17. (34)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 181.955 mph.
  18. (88)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 181.634 mph.
  19. (43)  Darrell Wallace Jr. #, Chevrolet, 181.467 mph.
  20. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 181.307 mph.
  21. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 181.248 mph.
  22. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 181.236 mph.
  23. (24)  William Byron #, Chevrolet, 180.804 mph.
  24. (37)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 181.842 mph.
  25. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 181.753 mph.
  26. (12)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 181.550 mph.
  27. (9)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 181.082 mph.
  28. (13)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 180.293 mph.
  29. (38)  David Ragan, Ford, 180.117 mph.
  30. (32)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 178.914 mph.
  31. (23)  Gray Gaulding Jr., Toyota, 178.269 mph.
  32. (72)  Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 177.045 mph.
  33. (00)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 175.050 mph.
  34. (15)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 174.362 mph.
  35. (78)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 0.000 mph.
  36. (51)  Harrison Rhodes, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.

| , RacinToday.com Friday, February 23 2018
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