Kurt Busch claims Texas pole in abbreviated qualifying session

Kurt Busch remains the fastest at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kurt Busch claims Texas pole in abbreviated qualifying session
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Busch Light
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Office
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Menards/Richmond The Water Heater Experts
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY

Busch won his second consecutive pole at the speedway when Friday’s qualifying session was cut short due to lightning in the area.

Busch’s average lap speed of 197.368 mph led the way in Round 1 and that ended up being all he needed as the second and third rounds were canceled.

The pole is Busch’s first of the season and 23rd of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career. It’s also his third at Texas and second consecutive.

Busch’s lap at 200.915 mph last fall at Texas set the record for the fastest qualifying lap in a stock car on a 1.5-mile track.

Busch has described Texas as uniquely challenging.

“(Turns) 3 and 4 are an incredible sensation. Once the car goes into the banking, it travels. The suspension collapses in the car and the car gets lower to the ground and picks up speed because you are lower to the ground and have less drag,” he said.

“It is a sensation that is hard to describe. When you have that grip level in the car, it gives you the feeling that you can just put it down to the floor and there won’t be any consequences.”

Busch’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer will start second and third, respectively. Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin complete the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson.

Round 1

Kurt Busch led a Stewart-Haas Racing sweep of the top three positions in the first 15-minute round of knockout qualifying.

Busch, who was fastest in Friday’s lone practice session, posted an average lap speed of 197.368 mph. He was followed by teammates Harvick (197.116 mph) and Bowyer (196.829 mph).

Blaney ended up fourth-fastest and Hamlin completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10: Truex, Logano, Kyle Busch, Johnson and Larson.

Among those who failed to advance to Round 2 included Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kasey Kahne and rookie William Byron.

Byron had changed engines during Friday’s practice session but it didn’t appear to help his speed much as he ended up 33rd-fastest. Byron will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.

On the warm-up lap on his first qualifying attempt, Chris Buescher slapped the wall off Turn 2 and pulled off the track with damage to his No. 37 Chevrolet.

NASCAR approved Buscher’s team to change two of his tires because of damage from the incident. He eventually was able to complete a qualifying attempt and ended up 18th-fastest in the first round.

Shortly after the conclusion of the first round, NASCAR put qualifying on hold was there were reports of lightning in the area of the speedway.

shares
comments
Kevin Harvick: "We have the most stable team in the garage"

Previous article

Kevin Harvick: "We have the most stable team in the garage"

Next article

Erik Jones looking for the "next leap" in performance in Cup series

Erik Jones looking for the "next leap" in performance in Cup series
Load comments
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020