Kurt Busch is on a roll and he’s definitely liking the way it is leading him with a average speed of 188.699 mph on his first lap in a time of 38.156 seconds.Ã‚Â For the third week in a row Kurt has landed himself on the pole and will be leading the field to the green flag and he’s very busy handing out compliments to the team behind him, for giving him the equipment that has landed him there week after week.
”To be on the pole three weeks, what it does – there are so many benefits behind the scenes,” Busch said. ”Picking your pit selection first, having track position right away in the race. … You could have a slow pit crew, and you have that first pit box, that’s going to help you get out in front of guys throughout the day.”
”I’m thankful that everybody was able to pull together and understand that we should just try something different,” he said. ”It’s great to be able to see the results pop up so soon. I had no idea that we were right around the corner.”
Having spun himself out during practice the last 2 times he qualified on the pole, he managed to keep it facing forward this week in a more “conventional” qualifying run.
“This is the first time we’ve had a pole without spinning or wrecking our primary car,” Busch said. “This was a conventional weekend, so to speak.”
This is the 15th time that Kurt Busch has received the pole award in his career and is the 4th in a row for Penske after Brad Kesolowski took the award at Charlotte Motorspeedway in May.Ã‚Â This pole however was by one of the closest margins in recent history being only .003 of a second faster than David Reutimann whos average speed was 188.684 mph.
Rounding out the top 5 were Matt Kenseth (188.620 mph) in third, followed by Brian Vickers (188.157 mph) and Regan Smith (187.607 mph).Ã‚Â Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard and Denny Hamlin fill in the top 10 respectively.
This was a busy week for NASCAR fans, with Tony Stewart swapping cars with Lewis Hamilton at Watkins Glen on Tuesday, and with JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) being in the news for using un approved oil pans on all 3 of the cars entered in tomorrow’s Helluva Good Sour Creme Dips 400.Ã‚Â Jeff Burton and David Ragan got into each other during practice which resulted in a lot of repair work needing to be completed in a very short time frame.Ã‚Â Both cars returned to the track before the end of practice.
“I wasn’t expecting for him to slow down that much,” said Ragan. “There were two or three car-lengths between us and before I knew it, I was right on him. I was so glad that Jeff held onto it and it didn’t tear up anything.”
After the oil pans for Logano and his JGR teammates, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, were confiscated during opening day inspection by NASCAR officials, after it was determined the
oil pans had not been submitted for prior approval, things went from bad to worse for the No. 20 team.Ã‚Â Joey will start from the back of the field in 43rd for tomorrow’s race.
Three laps into final practice, Logano’s No. 20 Toyota began showing smoke, forcing him to slow on the track and head for the garage with a possible engine bearing issue, forcing the crew to change the engine for the second time in one day, this time to replace the Toyota powerplant.Ã‚Â No word has come down yet on whether or not penaltied will be issued but in their usual fashion NASCAR will most likely announce what, if any punishment, will be dealt out on Tuesday after the race.
Dale Earnhardt Jr will be making his 107 consecutive win less start tomorrow, but after looking really fast during practice and being at the track where his last win was awarded, Jr. has to be feeling pretty confident about his chances.Ã‚Â Dale Jr. qualified in 15th but showed excellent speed in practice running 5th in average speeds overall and looking really comfortable on the track. After an excellent string of top 10 and top 5 finishes in the weeks past Earnhardt Jr. is definitely looking good and is my pick to win this weekend in Michigan.