Kurt Busch On Pole At Roval

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 29 2018

Kurt Busch drove to the pole for Sunday’s race at CMS. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Gregg Ellman)

Kurt Busch and his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford won the pole for Sunday’s debut Monster Entergy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

Running late in the final round, Busch toured the 2.28-mile, 17-corner course in 76.805 seconds (106.868 mph) to edge road-course ace AJ Allmendinger (76.846 seconds at 106.811 mph) for the top starting spot.

Busch earned his fourth pole of the season and the 26th of his career, after spending time on the Ford simulator preparing for the debut race.

“This is really special to win any inaugural race or pole,” Busch said. “To have this little trophy next to me means a lot. It brings me back to my past, when you go into a new event and you’re a rookie, you have to execute with fundamentals and an open mind.

“The way our team on the 41 car approached this weekend was to make sure that we had all bases covered, with front cambers, rear shocks — the setup in general and all those little things. Behind the scenes, I spent over two days at the Ford simulator, working on the Roval, making sure my shift points were proper, braking zones. …

“When you have such good technology available to you, it’s a matter of utilizing it. I turned 40 this year, and here I am on the simulator, acting like it’s a video game. You have to do those things, and I’m really happy that it panned out today.”

 Alex Bowman (106.800 mph) qualified third, followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott (106.596 mph). Both drivers are in vulnerable positions entering the Round of 16 cutoff race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Playoff drivers Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson earned the fifth and sixth spots on the grid for a race that could feature a fair share of contact.

“We’re going to see two races, I think,” said Allmendinger, who said he probably could have nit-picked his final-round lap and found an extra half second, provided he stayed mistake-free. “You’re either going to see everybody get so cautious because of all the accidents in practice, and people are on the cutoff line for the playoffs; or we’re race car drivers, and we’re not very smart and we just go out there and get crazy and tear up a lot of stuff.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 29 2018
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