Qualifying was called for both Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup series teams due to rain at Darlington Raceway. Twenty-two Busch cars had taken to the track for their time trials laps when thunderstorms rolled into the track. The field for both races...
Qualifying was called for both Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup series teams due to rain at Darlington Raceway. Twenty-two Busch cars had taken to the track for their time trials laps when thunderstorms rolled into the track.
The field for both races will now be set based on owners' points, which puts Martin Truex, Jr. on the pole for the Busch race and Kurt Busch on the pole for the NEXTEL Cup race.
"It's definitely very helpful," said Busch. "We've always qualified well here; it's a track that you have to qualify very well on. If you start up front you have a much better time deciding what to do and what to fix on the race car."
"It's definitely an opportunity to lead early on."
With just two races to go in the Chase for the Championship, that puts the top ten in points at the head of the grid for the start of the last Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Busch will be joined on the front row by four-time Cup series champion Jeff Gordon.
"We made two runs today and the first time out was real loose and the second time we tightened it up and we jumped up there," said Gordon. "We felt pretty good about qualifying today, but I don't think we would have qualified second.
"We just have to stay out of trouble and finish ahead of those guys."
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin complete the top five for the Cup race.
"We hit the wall off turn two and had to go to a back up car, it's a car that we haven't ran all year but we ran it a lot last year and we have had a lot of success with it," said Earnhardt who wrecked during initial practice for Cup teams. "We just got a little bit out of the groove and shot up into the fence. We always have good cars and whenever I tear up my primary car I am always confident in what we have in the trailer."
"I've tried and tried to get better at this place," continued Earnhardt. "I try and keep an open mind it is a difficult track. We drop off quicker than a lot of guys do and we are trying to work on it.I am excited to see how much better of a car and how much better of a race team we are than we were earlier this year."
For the Busch series, Truex and Kyle Busch will start at the top of the heap followed by Greg Biffle, Ron Hornaday and David Green. All Truex needs to do is finish 30 points ahead of Busch this weekend in order to clinch his first Busch series title.