Kurt Busch On Pole For Sunday’s Axalta We Paint Winners 400 At Pocono Raceway

Kurt Busch On Pole For Sunday’s Axalta We Paint Winners 400 At Pocono Raceway

by June 5, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

LONG POND, Pa. – On Friday afternoon, Kurt Busch ran a lap of 50.676 seconds at 177.599 mph to sit on the Coors Light Pole for Sunday’s Axalta We Paint Winners 400 at Pocono Raceway.

The pole run marks Busch’s 19th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. Busch was only 21st fastest in practice, but his crew was able to make the huge swing to make the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS the fastest in qualifying. In Round 1, Busch was 16th, and in Round 2, he was only 10th fastest. He now has three poles this season, along with seven top-10 starts.

“Today was a great day to lean on Daniel Knost on his set-up that we ran here last year,” Busch said. “We sat outside pole for this race last year. Today to be 30th in practice and to have a different set-up in the car we had to change things around. That is where and experienced crew chief like Tony Gibson didn’t sweat it. He guided the lead engineer on changes that he should look at, the assistant engineer, the car chief, everybody chipped in to help us change our car around from being 30th.”

Carl Edwards will roll off in the second position for Sunday’s race. Edwards has eight top-10 starts so far this season, and he has nine at Pocono Raceway. Edwards finished practice in the third position, and in qualifying, he was fourth in Round 1 and eighth in Round 2. Carl Edwards has two (2005 and 2008) wins at Pocono Raceway.

“It’s nice to have three shots at it – this place has always been tough for me the first time out,” Edwards said. “We get to run the first run, work on it a little bit, second run and work on it and for me, that was the best run that we had all day. I was real proud of my guys and everybody worked together really well.

For the eighth time this season, Martin Truex Jr. posted a top-10 starting spot after posting the third fastest time in the final round of qualifying on Friday afternoon. Truex Jr. now has three top-10 starting spots at the speedway. He was only eighth in practice, but in qualifying, he posted the seventh fastest time in Round 1, as well as in Round 2.

“It was a good day for us,” Truex Jr. said. “Honestly just right off the trailer we have had a good car all day long. Hats off to the guys again for bringing a great race car. Really just tweaked on it little things here and there throughout practice and then again throughout the qualifying session made good gains each and every run. We thought our third run was a pretty good lap. Obviously really close to the first two guys, but missed it just a little bit. I’m starting to get this qualifying thing figured out and that is something that is definitely going to help us race better and get better pit stalls. I’m looking forward to Sunday.”

Six-time Pocono Raceway winner, Jeff Gordon will start fourth on Sunday, followed by defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Kevin Harvick in fifth.

Coverage for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta We Paint Winners 400 will begin at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network (MRN).

Axalta We Paint Winners 400 Starting Lineup:

1.) #41 Kurt Busch

2.) #19 Carl Edwards

3.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.

4.) #24 Jeff Gordon

5.) #4 Kevin Harvick

6.) #3 Austin Dillon

7.) #2 Brad Keselowski

8.) #11 Denny Hamlin

9.) #48 Jimmie Johnson

10.) #18 Kyle Busch

11.) #22 Joey Logano

12.) #5 Kasey Kahne

13.) #31 Ryan Newman

14.) #1 Jamie McMurray

15.) #42 Kyle Larson

16.) #27 Paul Menard

17.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

18.) #13 Casey Mears

19.) #20 Matt Kenseth

20.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

21.) #55 David Ragan

22.) #10 Danica Patrick

23.) #15 Clint Bowyer

24.) #9 Sam Hornish Jr.

25.) #43 Aric Almirola

26.) #47 AJ Allmendinger

27.) #16 Greg Biffle

28.) #14 Tony Stewart

29.) #33 Ty Dillon

30.) #51 Justin Allgaier

31.) #46 Michael Annett

32.) #40 Landon Cassill

33.) #6 Trevor Bayne

34.) #7 Alex Bowman

35.) #38 David Gilliland

36.) #34 Brett Moffitt

37.) #23 JJ Yeley

38.) #98 Josh Wise

39.) #35 Cole Whitt

40.) #26 Jeb Burton

41.) #83 Matt DiBenedetto

42.) #32 Travis Kvapil

43.) #62 Brendan Gaughan

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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