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Busch sets track record in winning pole at Phoenix

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Friday, November 09, 2012

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Kyle Busch
Getty Images for NASCAR
Kyle Busch sped around Phoenix International Raceway at record pace Friday afternoon.

In the same qualifying session, Jimmie Johnson gave Brad Keselowski a ray of hope on a day that grew increasingly cloudy as time trials progressed.

Busch toured the 1-mile track in 25.943 seconds (138.766 mph), edging Martin Truex Jr. (138.217 mph) for the top starting spot in Sunday's AdvoCare 500. The Coors Light Pole Award was Busch's second of the season, his second at PIR and the 10th of his career.

With an early draw on a warmer track -- thanks to a slower speed in Friday's practice (speeds), Johnson, the Chase for the Sprint Cup leader, ran 135.440 mph and will start 24th on Sunday. Johnson holds a seven-point lead over second-place Keselowski with two events left in the Chase.

Keselowski (136.622 mph) will take the green flag in 14th place on Sunday. Johnson, who won the past two Chase races from the pole, posted his poorest qualifying performance since starting 37th at Bristol in August, 11 races ago.

Denny Hamlin (137.578 mph) qualified third, followed by Kasey Kahne (137.478 mph), as the top four drivers exceeded the previous record 137.279 mph (26.224 seconds) set by Carl Edwards on Feb. 26, 2011, the last race weekend before the track was repaved and reconfigured.

Busch was the last driver to make a qualifying attempt, and the late draw helped. Busch made his run on scuffed tires -- those used during a mock qualifying run in practice.

"For us, the race track wasn't that bad," Busch said. "Yeah, it was really slick to start with when we first went out for practice earlier [Friday], but we were fast right off from our first mock run. We just had to make slight changes.

"We made three of 'em [mock runs]. We used three set of stickers [new tires] all in practice, and we ended up rolling out [for qualifying] on one of our used sets of scuffs and made our lap."

Lineup

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 138.766 25.943 Leader
2 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 138.217 26.046 -0.103
3 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 137.578 26.167 -0.224
4 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 137.478 26.186 -0.243
5 43 Aric Almirola Ford Farmland 137.211 26.237 -0.294
6 78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row 137.007 26.276 -0.333
7 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Rheem 136.992 26.279 -0.336
8 51 Regan Smith Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 136.872 26.302 -0.359
9 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Office Depot 136.867 26.303 -0.360
10 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 136.867 26.303 -0.360
11 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 136.830 26.310 -0.367
12 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans 136.721 26.331 -0.388
13 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 136.679 26.339 -0.396
14 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 136.622 26.350 -0.407
15 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 136.488 26.376 -0.433
16 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 136.436 26.386 -0.443
17 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Black & Decker 136.359 26.401 -0.458
18 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Allstate 136.353 26.402 -0.459
19 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 136.271 26.418 -0.475
20 16 Greg Biffle Ford Filtrete 136.219 26.428 -0.485
21 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 136.003 26.470 -0.527
22 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Ford EcoBoost 135.906 26.489 -0.546
23 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 135.547 26.559 -0.616
24 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 135.440 26.580 -0.637
25 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 135.211 26.625 -0.682
26 22 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 135.171 26.633 -0.690
27 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King 134.948 26.677 -0.734
28 98 Michael McDowell Ford Phil Parsons Racing 134.948 26.677 -0.734
29 34 David Ragan Ford CertainTeed / 31-W Insulation 134.932 26.680 -0.737
30 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Vektor Vodka 134.449 26.776 -0.833
31 38 David Gilliland Ford Loan Mart 134.374 26.791 -0.848
32 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 134.343 26.797 -0.854
33 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 134.198 26.826 -0.883
34 144 David Reutimann Ford No Label Watcher 134.008 26.864 -0.921
35 33 Stephen Leicht* Chevrolet Little Joes Autos.com 133.620 26.942 -0.999
36 119 Mike Bliss Toyota Plinker Tactical / Value Place 133.576 26.951 -1.008
37 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 132.954 27.077 -1.134
38 26 Josh Wise* Ford MDS Transport 132.817 27.105 -1.162
39 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King 132.387 27.193 -1.250
40 191 Jason Leffler Toyota Plinker Tactical / Value Place 131.329 27.412 -1.469
41 32 Timmy Hill Ford U.S. Chrome / TMone 129.945 27.704 -1.761
42 36 Dave Blaney+ Chevrolet Accell Construction 128.691 27.974 -2.031
43 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM-FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves / aloft hotel tempe 130.067 27.678 -1.735
DNQ 37 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Anchor Drilling Fluids / MaxQ 127.056 28.334 -2.391

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