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Kurt Busch Goes Back-to-Back, Scores Kobalt 400 Pole

Kurt Busch Goes Back-to-Back, Scores Kobalt 400 Pole

by March 4, 2016 0 comments

Kurt Busch won his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season in as many weeks after taking the top qualifying spot for Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy Chevrolet completed a lap of 27.505 seconds to claim his 21st career pole award at the Sprint Cup level, all the while setting the Las Vegas track record in the process.

“It was insanely fast,” Busch noted following his run. “It’s amazing all the detail that goes into qualifying with finding that perfect lap three times out there.  My second outing we were way tight and I didn’t know where it came from. Gibson [Tony, crew chief] and crew went to town. They just adjusted on it.

“We gambled and we made that last session, which was great. That was icing on the cake to be able to go out into the third round. I was first or 12th it didn’t matter.”

The Las Vegas native will be joined on the front row on Sunday by Team Penske’s Joey Logano, who came roaring back in qualifying following a dismal 26th-place starting spot one week ago.

Set to take the green flag from the remaining top-10 starting positions are Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.

Other notable qualifiers were Jimmie Johnson in 11th, Chase Elliott in 13th, Ryan Blaney in 14th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 20th, Kyle Busch in 23rd, Carl Edwards in 24th and Greg Biffle in 26th.

With 39 teams entered for the race weekend, no open teams were sent packing following Friday evening’s qualifying sessions.

Edwards and Jamie McMurray were two drivers to make some sort of contact with the wall during qualifying – McMurray during Q1 and Edwards during Q2.

Both the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing and No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing teams will start from the rear of the field on Sunday after making the switch to backup cars.

Starting Grid for the Kobalt 400

  1. 41 – Kurt Busch
  2. 22 – Joey Logano
  3. 20 – Matt Kenseth
  4. 2 – Brad Keselowski
  5. 3 – Austin Dillon
  6. 4 – Kevin Harvick
  7. 43 – Aric Almirola
  8. 5 – Kasey Kahne
  9. 11 – Denny Hamlin
  10. 78 – Martin Truex Jr.
  11. 48 – Jimmie Johnson
  12. 47 – A.J. Allemdinger
  13. 24 – Chase Elliott#
  14. 21 – Ryan Blaney#*
  15. 27 – Paul Menard
  16. 17 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  17. 42 – Kyle Larson
  18. 10 – Danica Patrick
  19. 14 – Brian Vickers
  20. 88 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  21. 31 – Ryan Newman
  22. 13 – Casey Mears
  23. 18 – Kyle Busch
  24. 19 – Carl Edwards [Moving to rear of grid, backup car]
  25. 34 – Chris Buescher#
  26. 16 – Greg Biffle
  27. 38 – Landon Cassill
  28. 6 – Trevor Bayne
  29. 1 – Jamie McMurray [Moving to rear of grid, backup car]
  30. 95 – Michael McDowell
  31. 23 – David Ragan
  32. 44 – Brian Scott#
  33. 7 – Regan Smith
  34. 83 – Matt DiBenedetto
  35. 15 – Clint Bowyer
  36. 98 – Cole Whitt*
  37. 46 – Michael Annett
  38. 32 – Jeffrey Earnhardt#
  39. 30 – Josh Wise*

# = Rookie, * = Non-charter driver.

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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