Kurt Busch wins NASCAR pole in New Hampshire

Kurt Busch on pole
Kurt Busch on pole

Kurt Busch won the Busch Pole Award for the third time this season in Friday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Busch circled the 1.058-mile track with a final-round speed of 133.591 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Ford. He’ll start first in Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) after posting the 25th pole position of his Monster Energy Series career and his first at New Hampshire.

Martin Truex Jr., last weekend’s winner at Kentucky Speedway, will start alongside Busch in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota after locking down the second-fastest lap (133.502 mph) in qualifying.

Kyle Busch was fastest in the two earlier rounds of the three-round knockout qualifying session, but will start third in Sunday’s 301-lapper in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. His teammate, Denny Hamlin, took fourth in qualifying with Ryan Blaney completing the top five.

Kyle Busch, who was also fastest in the series’ lone practice Friday, topped the opening 15-minute round of qualifying with a best lap of 133.114 mph. Chris Buescher grabbed the 24th and final spot to advance to Round 2, edging out Ty Dillon by .007 seconds.

The younger Busch picked up his speed in Round 2, leading the way with a 133.656 mph speed. There was another close contest for the final transfer spot, with Paul Menard clipping Aric Almirola by a .006-second margin to reach the final 12.


[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 78 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing

Starting Position: 2nd

What did you miss out there that cost you?

“I just missed Turn 1 just slightly there in that last run on the first lap, but overall lit was a solid day. We had a decent practice – a short practice, you know, because we waited a little bit for the VHT to kind of get run in and we went out there and ran and were probably a little bit off further on balance more than we needed to be at the end of practice. So made some changes for qualifying and the guys did a good job of getting it right and we were close, so couple thousandths, a few inches here or there in a different spot on the race track and might have been able to make it up, but a solid effort for us and we can go get them on Sunday from second."

Why is qualifying important here?

“Yeah, it was good. A good day for us to, you know, have a good qualifying effort. Obviously, everybody knows qualifying here at New Hampshire is important. Pit stall, but also just track position – starting the race up front makes your day a little easier, sets you up for hopefully a good run in that first stage and, yeah, it was a good day, so guy’s did a good job. We were off a little bit at the end of practice and made some changes for qualifying and, yeah, went well, so excited about that. Wish we could have found just a little bit more, but most importantly we were in a good spot for Sunday."

KYLE BUSCH, No 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Starting Position: 3rd

Did you leave just a bit out there?

“Yeah, we left some out there. Just wasn’t able to quite capitalize on a good, strong run first round and second round. Maybe we just used too much tire and didn’t have enough for the third run, but I don’t know."

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Starting Position: 4th

Did you back it up into Turns 3 and 4?

“Yeah, I mean typically on the second lap I’ve been – in 14 years, I usually blow through the front tires through (Turns) 3 and 4 trying to get a little more, so was trying to be patient with it. I got back to the gas pretty good, but I just had a bad angle for the exit. Overall, kind of should have got it done on the first lap, but just got a little too edgy into (Turn) 1 and chattered the rears, but overall decent day so far. We’ll work on it tomorrow and get this good for 301 laps."


Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford 28.511 133.591
2 78 Martin Truex Jr. 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota 28.530 133.502
3 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota 28.545 133.431
4 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 28.560 133.361
5 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Sylvania Ford 28.698 132.720
6 2 Brad Keselowski Autotrader Ford 28.699 132.715
7 20 Erik Jones DeWalt Toyota 28.708 132.674
8 88 Alex Bowman Nationwide Chevrolet 28.720 132.618
9 19 Daniel Suarez ARRIS Toyota 28.728 132.581
10 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 28.754 132.462
11 24 William Byron # AXALTA Chevrolet 28.771 132.383
12 21 Paul Menard Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 28.813 132.190
13 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 28.727 132.586
14 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Beer Ford 28.734 132.554
15 14 Clint Bowyer Haas 30 Years of the VF1 Ford 28.767 132.402
16 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 28.772 132.379
17 3 Austin Dillon Dow Chevrolet 28.798 132.259
18 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet 28.811 132.200
19 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 28.834 132.094
20 42 Kyle Larson Credit One Bank Chevrolet 28.846 132.039
21 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet 28.871 131.925
22 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald's Chevrolet 28.912 131.738
23 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 28.976 131.447
24 37 Chris Buescher Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 29.022 131.238
25 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 29.020 131.247
26 95 Kasey Kahne Thorne Wellness Chevrolet 29.085 130.954
27 43 Bubba Wallace # Medallion Bank/Petty's Garage Chevrolet 29.106 130.860
28 32 Matt DiBenedetto Weirs Motor Sales Inc. Ford 29.123 130.783
29 34 Michael McDowell Starkey Hearing Foundation Ford 29.171 130.568
30 38 David Ragan Performance Plus Ford 29.179 130.532
31 6 Matt Kenseth Constantine Sealing Service Ford 29.190 130.483
32 15 Ross Chastain(i) Chevrolet 29.477 129.213
33 72 Corey LaJoie Monarch Chevrolet 29.491 129.151
34 00 Landon Cassill StarCom Fiber Chevrolet 29.495 129.134
35 99 Kyle Weatherman StarCom Fiber Chevrolet 29.855 127.577
36 51 BJ McLeod(i) Jacob Companies Chevrolet 29.860 127.555
37 23 Blake Jones Tennessee Shine Co./KBM Comm. Prop. 30.579 124.556

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