In recent weeks Kurt Busch has been having fun piloting a V8 Supercar at the Circuit of the Americas and an IndyCar on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Today he earned the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at Darlington, South Carolina.
With a Darlington (S.C.) Raceway track qualifying record of 27.032 seconds on Friday, Kurt Busch claimed the pole starting spot for this No. 78 Furniture Racing Chevrolet for Saturday's Bojangles' Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track.
"There still may be a little time out there," Busch said, soon after climbing out of his car. "Was really fast in (turns) one and two; may have lost a little getting into three."
Busch's No. 78 team won the Southern 500 in 2011, and Busch said he is optimistic about this weekend.
"These guys just have this confidence this weekend," Busch said.
Jimmie Johnson qualified second in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, to give the manufacturer the complete front row of the starting grid.
"Great lap," Johnson said. "We had some frustration in qualifying trim in practice. Fortunately, we got that corrected."
Johnson may have played a part in Chevrolet's front row dominance, but he came between brothers, as Kurt Busch's younger brother, Kyle Busch, qualified third in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. After qualifying, Kyle Busch joked that Johnson had ruined the perfect Mother's Day gift.
At one point in qualifying, Hendrick Motorsports laid claim to the provisional front row, with Johnson on the provisional pole and teammate Kasey Kahne in the No. 5 Chevrolet in the provisional second spot. Their fellow Chevy driver, Kurt Busch, knocked them both down a notch, and then Kyle Busch went out a few cars later and separated the two Hendrick drivers. Kahne wound up fourth.
Chevrolet and Toyota dominated qualifying, nearly shutting Ford out of the top-10. The only Ford representative in the top-10 by the end of qualifying was the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Greg Biffle in ninth.
Other top-five qualifiers include the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. in fifth, the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Denny Hamlin in sixth, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Matt Kenseth in seventh, the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Jeff Gordon in eighth, and the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick rounding out the top-10.
Forty-three cars, equal to a full race field, made qualifying attempts, so everyone who made a qualifying lap received a spot on Saturday night's starting grid.