Kurt Busch On Pole In Atlanta After Younger Brother, Kyle Fails Tech

Kurt Busch On Pole In Atlanta After Younger Brother, Kyle Fails Tech

by February 26, 2016 0 comments

HAMPTON, Ga. –  Kurt Busch will sit on the pole for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after his younger brother, Kyle Busch failed post-qualifying inspection.

Kyle ran the fastest lap during Coors Light Pole Qualifying, but his car didn’t meet the rear toe specifications during post-inspection. The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 M&M’s Toyota did however, meet pre-qualifying standards. Busch’s lap of 28.925 seconds at 191.668 mph was disallowed, and he will start 39th on Sunday.

“The rear toe was off,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller.  “We’ve come up with a new process for post-qualifying and post-race that measures rear toe. The teams ask for it because you’ve heard the word skew, everybody talking about that. Well, this is a way to police that. Teams ask for it. We institute it. They didn’t pass. The others passed.”

Kurt Busch is coming off an eighth place finish in the Daytona 500. He kicked off this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the sixth fastest time in opening practice on Friday. During qualifying, Busch clocked the fourth fastest time in Round 1 and the second fastest time in Round 2. Busch has three wins at the speedway, but Friday’s effort will marks his first career pole at the speedway.

“It’s an awesome run that the car had in it,” Busch said. “The team did a good job to dial it in for the three rounds. I was just trying to make sure I didn’t slip a tire any extra. It’s really easy to overdrive Atlanta Motor Speedway. The track challenges the driver, the car and the tires. It’s a fun place to come and try to lay down a lap.

“Overall with the way the developments came up from tech inspection this shows the amount of enforcement that NASCAR is ready to imply to their technical procedures on what a car has to do to comply to all specs.”

Jamie McMurray will start alongside of Kurt Busch on the front row in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. In the one and only practice on Friday, he was seventh fastest. In Round 1 of qualifying, McMurray only clocked the 13th fastest lap, but in Round 2, he followed that effort up with the fastest.

“It’s interesting because I ran the bottom here last time,” McMurray said. “I kind of expected to run the bottom in qualifying this time. It seemed like everybody ran higher in (Turns) 1 and 2, which I think will be a good sign for the race because the bottom will work as well. I’m hoping that the new rules package maybe plays into that. I don’t know. I know at Kentucky when we ran this package we ran a lot higher than we traditionally did.  Hopefully, it happens here as well. I think that puts on a better race for the fans.”

Trevor Bayne will start third on Sunday. He finished out the first practice session 19th, just barely in the top-20. However, he clocked the second fastest lap in Round 1 during qualifying. In Round 2, he just barely made the cut to make it to the final round after running the 12th fastest lap.

“It’s great,” Bayne said. “Obviously, we had a little speed at Daytona, but Atlanta is where you see what you’ve really got. Obviously, we hope that translates to race speed. It’s not just one lap speed, we have to make our cars last and not wear our front tires. That’s kind of my concern right now, but there’s been a lot of effort put into this and I’m really proud of my guys. This feels a lot like a win.”

Ryan Newman, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top-10 is Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Scott.

The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will broadcast live on FOX and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Starting Lineup:

1.) #41 Kurt Busch

2.) #1 Jamie McMurray

3.) #6 Trevor Bayne

4.) #31 Ryan Newman

5.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

6.) #4 Kevin Harvick

7.) #19 Carl Edwards

8.) #3 Austin Dillon

9.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.

10.) #44 Brian Scott

11.) #5 Kasey Kahne

12.) #11 Denny Hamlin

13.) #20 Matt Kenseth

14.) #16 Greg Biffle

15.) #13 Casey Mears

16.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

17.) #2 Brad Keselowski

18.) #14 Ty Dillon

19.) #48 Jimmie Johnson

20.) #42 Kyle Larson

21.) #27 Paul Menard

22.) #47 AJ Allmendinger

23.) #21 Ryan Blaney

24.) #24 Chase Elliott

25.) #10 Danica Patrick

26.) #22 Joey Logano

27.) #43 Aric Almirola

28.) #15 Clint Bowyer

29.) #38 Landon Cassill

30.) #7 Regan Smith

31.) #34 Chris Buescher

32.) #95 Michael McDowell

33.) #23David Ragan

34.) #46 Michael Annett

35.) #83 Matt DiBenedetto

36.) #98 Cole Whitt

37.) #30 Josh Wise

38.) #32 Jeffrey Earnhardt

39.) #18 Kyle Busch

Photo Credit: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

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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