Kyle Busch turned in a new track record of 26.80 seconds for the NASCAR Nationwide Series competition at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday afternoon on his way to taking the pole for the Bashas' Supermarkets 200. It is the 61st pole position for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide series.
Being Saturday's fastest qualifier plays into Busch's efforts to sweep the weekend at PIR after claiming the win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at the track on Friday night. In the second race of the trifecta attempt -- today's Bashas' Supermarkets 200 -- Busch will start from the best possible spot, first.
"I like my chances," Busch said of winning all three races this weekend. "I feel they're pretty good... Our Interstate Batteries Camry for today's race in the Nationwide Series is good."
The former record of 26.85 was held by Busch's JGR teammate, Joey Logano, who posted that time in 2010. This time around, Logano looked to be on his way of coming close to his teammate's run, if not surpassing it. Logano's first timed lap was just 0.01 slower than Busch's first lap, but a bobble on his second lap slowed him down slightly, resulting in a third-place starting position with a time of 27.04.
Starting alongside Busch on the front row will be Carl Edwards, who turned in a time right at 27 seconds.
Other top-five starters include reigning series champion Brad Keselowski, who will start fourth, and Brian Scott in fifth. Since Busch, Edwards, Logano and Keselowski are all earning points in Sprint Cup Series competition, Scott is the highest Nationwide Series-eligible driver on the starting grid.
Four drivers running for the Nationwide title find themselves with top-10 starting spots following Saturday's qualifying session -- Scott, Trevor Bayne (seventh), Steve Wallace (eighth) and Reed Sorenson (10th). Other drivers starting in the top-10 include Ryan Newman (sixth) and Kevin Harvick (ninth).
Other notables in Saturday's race field include Danica Patrick, who starts 20th, and Aric Almirola, starting from the 25th spot.
Only 40 cars attempted qualifying runs for the up-to-43-car field, so all cars will start Saturday's race. Jennifer Jo Cobb didn't actually make a lap, as she spun getting off pit road to make her qualifying run. Since she did attempt to qualify she receives the 40th and final starting spot.
The Nationwide Series Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway will take the green flag at approximately 5:30 ET Saturday.