BUSCH: Waltrip paces Busch qualifying at Kansas

Michael Waltrip nailed his 15th career Busch Series pole and second of the season when he turned a fast lap of 178.365 miles per hour in his #99 Aaron's Dream Machine Chevy Friday at Kansas Speedway.

Michael Waltrip.
Photo by James Spires.
Waltrip will lead the field on Saturday (3:00 p.m. ET on NBC) and aim for his second Busch Series victory of the season. He worked his way around Kevin Harvick for a win at Bristol in August. Waltrip, one of nine Winston Cup regulars that qualified for the race, reclaimed his Busch Series track record.

"The lap was decent, but when you qualify you like to think you did a perfect job. We left some out there," admitted Waltrip, who finished 33rd after getting caught up in an accident last year. "We've got a great team. It comes to the track being ready to roll."

Kasey Kahne was 1/10th of a second slower than Waltrip and will start on the front row. It's his third top-3 start in the past six races.

"This Great Clips team keeps doing a great job," said Kahne, who has jumped from 13th to eighth in the point standings in the past six races. "We are running better and better. It's been a real team effort."

David Green (third), Mike Bliss (fourth) and Stacy Compton (fifth) will also start in the top 5.

NBC analyst Wally Dallenbach qualified 28th in his Mr. Clean Auto Wash Ford Taurus. The team will make an engine change before Saturday's race that will force them to the back of the field. Dallenbach ran in the Winston Cup series for five years until 2000. He finished 12th in the Busch race at Kentucky in June.

"I impressed myself with that one," Dallenbach admitted about his qualifying effort. "We didn't have a lot of practice and we needed to get everything we could out of it. I think the car is going to be good for the race."

Points leader Brian Vickers qualified 17th while Scott Riggs, who trails Vickers by 32 points, will roll off eighth. Ron Hornaday posted an identical lap speed of 176.528 but will start behind Riggs because he has fewer points.

"We did an awesome job in practice and made a couple of adjustments for qualifying," said Vickers, who has won three of the past six races and will make his Winston Cup Series debut next week at Charlotte.

18-year-old Shelby Howard will make his Busch Series debut after posting the 34th-best time. Howard became the youngest winner ever in the ARCA series in June at Kansas.

"A lot of people have really stepped up to make this happen for me," said Howard, who will pilot the #43 Dr. Pepper/Curb Records Dodge.