The younger of the two Busch brothers grabbed the pole out of his older sibling’s hands; earning a new track record.
Kyle and Kurt Busch made qualifying for the front row at Texas Motor Speedway a family affair on Friday. Kyle Busch turned in a 27.509-second lap in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, a new qualifying track record, to claim the pole starting spot for Saturday's NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track.
"It felt that good," Busch said of his car on his qualifying run. "We didn't unload the best, but (crew chief) Dave (Rogers) and the guys used the whole toolbox."
His brother, Kurt Busch, will start second in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet after posting a qualifying lap time of 27.595 seconds.
Aric Almirola went out early in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and claimed the provisional pole with a lap time of 27.691 seconds. He didn't expect his lap time to hold up for the pole, going out so early, but his number remained at the top of the scoring pylon through most of the qualifying session.
Kurt Busch, going out 34th during the qualifying session, was finally to knock Almirola from the top.
"It was good," Kurt Busch said of his lap, soon after climbing out of his car. "A little bit's still left out there. We unloaded with a lot of speed."
What Kurt Busch left out there, his brother, apparently, found. As a result, Kyle Busch knocked his brother from the top spot and will make his 300th-career Sprint Cup Series start from the number one position.
Almirola wound up the best of the rest, with only the Busch brothers posting faster qualifying laps. He'll start third for the race on Saturday night. While the front row will be the Busch family row, the second row will belong to Richard Petty Motorsports. Almirola will be joined on the front row by the No. 9 RPM Ford of Ambrose, who qualified fourth.
Martin Truex Jr. qualified fifth in the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. He'll start just ahead of a trio of Hendrick Motorsports drivers -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson in the NO. 48 Chevrolet and Jeff Gordon in the No. 24 Chevy.
Although he wound up outside the top-five by the end of qualifying, Johnson was happy with his lap. "I expected to have a good lap, and I did. I thought I'd have something for Aric," Johnson said after making his run but while Almirola was still in possession of the provisional pole spot.
Qualifying ninth and 10th were the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Carl Edwards and the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet of Juan Montoya.
Forty-five drivers made qualifying attempts with 43 spots on the starting grid available. The two drivers failing to make the race were Scott Speed in the No. 95 Levine Family Racing Ford and Scott Riggs in the No. 44 XXXtreme Motorsports Ford.