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Kyle Busch Takes All Star Pole

by Pete McCole
Friday, May 20, 2011

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Kyle Busch
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
Kyle Busch will be looking for a chance to score a million dollar payday when he starts Saturday night’s 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All Star race, and for the second time in his career – he be looking to win from the pole position.

In a unique qualifying format where drivers run three laps and complete a four-tire pit stop, Busch was the 18th and final driver to take to the track and put down a lap of 119.191 seconds to knock Clint Bowyer off the top spot score the pole and a chance to win the all star event and its $1million dollar purse.

Of all the races Busch has won in his career, a victory in the all star race – in fact, any Sprint Cup victory at Charlotte – is one that has eluded him. In five prior all-star starts, he’s managed a best finish of seventh - and four DNF’s .

“I want to bring home the check.  That would certainly be nice,” said Busch. “This race is a race where everybody says it suits Kyle Busch and we all know why -- it’s because you can go fast, balls to the wall and you either bring back the steering wheel or the check. 

“Unfortunately, I’ve been highly successful at bringing back the steering wheel, I have not brought back the check.  Hopefully, we can do that here tomorrow.”

Although the all star race is known as an event where drivers go all out to win the million dollar purse, Kyle Busch will have to be on his best behavior, as he and Kevin Harvick are serving a four-race suspension for an on-track altercation following the race at Darlington two weeks ago.

“You can be a lot more aggressive (in the All Star Race),” said Busch. “That’s probably may be the reason why I’ve gotten myself in trouble a little bit is just trying to push it as hard as you can push it to try to win the race.”

Bowyer secured his best start in his third all-star appearance, running a lap 119.666 seconds that put him on the pole for about ten minutes, until Busch threw down his pole-winning lap.

“That Kyle Busch is a pain in everybody's butt isn't he? He's pretty good,” joked Bowyer. “That is a fun, fun qualifying effort. I'm telling you, it is nerve wracking on everybody's part.

“Just a total team effort - that is what today is all about. This is a lot of fun to be able to qualify for a race like that. Big race. $1 million to win. Qualifying is part of it. Now we have to race for the rest of it.”

Greg Biffle nailed down the third spot with a lap of 120.232, followed by Carl Edwards (120.683) and Mark Martin (121.194).

The final three spots in the 21-car field will be filled by the winner and runner-up of the 40-lap Sprint Shootout and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, representing the driver voted in by the fans.

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