BUSCH: Truex on pole in the Bluegrass State

BUSCH: Truex on pole in the Bluegrass State

Martin Truex, Jr. won the pole tonight for tomorrow's NASCAR Busch Series Meijer 300 presented by Oreo at Kentucky Speedway. Truex, with a fast time of 29.983 seconds (180.102 mph.), starts from the pole for the fifth time this season, and will...

Martin Truex, Jr. won the pole tonight for tomorrow's NASCAR Busch Series Meijer 300 presented by Oreo at Kentucky Speedway. Truex, with a fast time of 29.983 seconds (180.102 mph.), starts from the pole for the fifth time this season, and will attempt to win his fifth race of the year for Chance 2 Motorsports. Truex's blistering qualifying run was one of thirteen that eclipsed the lap record established last year by Stacy Compton.

Martin Truex Jr..
Photo by Michael C. Johnson.
Second fastest was the driver who leads Truex in the Busch Series points chase, rookie Kyle Busch. Busch said that he focused on race setup during practice; causing his Hendrick Motorsports ride to be "a little tight in qualifying," despite his presence on the front row.

UPDATE: Busch crashed his car during Happy Hour practice late Friday. It is unknown at this time if his heavily-damaged car can be repaired for the race start.

Defending race winner Bobby Hamilton, Jr. qualified third and credited his team's car setup skills for his speed. "If you can get through the corner, you'll be fast," he said.

The most recent race winner in the Busch series, Jason Leffler, will start fourth tomorrow night, putting him in position to make it two straight. Leffler and the Haas CNC Racing team were both first-time Busch winners last Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.

Four NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers are working double shifts this weekend, competing in their Busch rides here at Kentucky and also racing in the senior series at Michigan. Two of the drivers had substitutes qualify their cars, Paul Menard sitting in for Michael Waltrip and Tyler Walker doing the qualifying for Nextel rookie Kasey Kahne in Akins Motorsports' car. Walker was 29th- fastest and Menard was 34th-fastest, but Kahne and Waltrip will drop to the tail end of the field for the 8 pm race start.

The other two "double dippers", Greg Biffle and Robbie Gordon, flew in by helicopter from Michigan in time to qualify their own cars. Biffle, who had Mike McLaughlin standing by, qualified seventh and Gordon displaced Brandon Miller from his car to put it on the inside of row three for tomorrow's race.

Kenny Wallace split Gordon and Biffle to qualify sixth and 2003 Busch championship runner-up David Green will share the fourth row with Biffle. Mike Bliss and Johnny Sauter fill out the top 10. Clint Bowyer, Jason Keller, and David Stremme were the other three drivers faster than the old track record.

Five drivers failed to qualify and will be loading up early. Brad Teague, Shawna Robinson, Stuart Kirby and Justin Anderson didn't lap fast enough, and Chris Horn crashed in turn two on the first lap of his run. Five other drivers used provisional slots to get into the race (Clint Vahsholtz, Jamie Mosley, Stan Boyd, Jimmy Kitchens, and Steve Grissom) and will start at the back.

Kentucky Speedway announced that all the seats (66,000) are sold out for the Busch Series' fourth visit to the Bluegrass State. Standing Room Only tickets for the remaining 3,500 spectators that the facility can hold will go on sale at 9 am tomorrow. Live television coverage will begin on FX at 7:30 pm EDT.

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