Daytona Duel: Kurt Busch preview

Kurt Busch To Start 22nd in First Duel in Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch clocked in with a lap of 185.380 mph (48.549 seconds), which was almost 0.677 seconds slower than that of Coors Light Pole Award winner...

Kurt Busch To Start 22nd in First Duel in Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch clocked in with a lap of 185.380 mph (48.549 seconds), which was almost 0.677 seconds slower than that of Coors Light Pole Award winner Martin Truex Jr. (188.001 mph/47.872 seconds) in Sunday's qualifying session for next Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion didn't seem too disturbed about his speed that ranked only 42nd-fastest on the final chart after 56 drivers had made their runs against the clock.

"We're not overly concerned about that lap," said Busch, who had turned in the 46th-fastest lap in the practice sessions prior to qualifying. "The lap was about as we expected. We felt like we did everything we could to get the temperatures to the right temp, get our clearances right, not drag the track too much and produce a lap that was right where we expected.

"Unfortunately, it's going to be way in the back of the field," Busch continued. "Is it because we have too much down force? That's what we're hoping for. We're hoping for long green flag runs next Sunday with some hot temperatures because that's what we had last year. We had a lot of sliding around. Our Penske cars reacted well (in those conditions) and that led to a 1-2 finish. It's hard to change (game plan) when you finish 1-2. So we're going to stick with it. Unfortunately, we're going to qualify a little bit slower because we have so much drag (downforce) in the car."

With only Coors Light Pole Award winner Truex and second-fastest Mark Martin (187.817 mph/47.919 seconds) locked into next Sunday's 500-mile battle, the remainder of the starting field will be determined after Thursday's twin 150-mile qualifying races.

By virtue of his qualifying speed, Busch will start 22nd in the 28-car field in Thursday's "Gatorade Duel 1" at Daytona.

Busch certainly has reason to not be disturbed about his qualifying speed. He started last in the field (43rd) in the 2008 edition of the prestigious Daytona 500, yet was able to drive up to a runner-up finish behind then-teammate Ryan Newman.

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Martin Truex Jr. , Mark Martin