Kurt Busch edges Allmendinger for inaugural pole at Charlotte Roval

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Kurt Busch edges Allmendinger for inaugural pole at Charlotte Roval
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Sep 28, 2018, 9:41 PM

Kush Busch’s patience paid off with the pole for Sunday’s inaugural race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval course.

Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Haas Automation/Monster Energy
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Haas Automation
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Haas Automation/Monster Energy
A.J. Allmendinger, JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Kroger ClickList
Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Cheerios, Zero Hunger, Zero Waste and A.J. Allmendinger, JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Kroger ClickList
A.J. Allmendinger, JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet

Busch waited for several minutes Friday as clouds began to cover the Roval in the final 10-minute session of knockout qualifying to make his final attempt.

It paid off handsomely and Busch’s average lap speed of 106.868 mph just edged A.J. Allmendinger (106.811 mph), giving him the pole for Sunday’s Bank of America 400.

Sunday’s race will be the first on the speedway’s 2.28-mile, 17-turn Roval course.

“It’s pretty special. Any inaugural event is fun to go to,” Busch said. “You try to learn as much as you can through testing and simulator work and watching others.

“We had plan going in. I’m really proud of (crew chief) Billy Scott and everyone on the No. 41 car coming into a unique situation like this. There is nothing ordinary about this. I’ve just tried to have fun with it.

“We have to go to work on race trim now. We have to make sure we set up our tires right for the long run.”

The pole is Busch’s fourth of the season and 26th of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

“This race is going to be all about minimizing mistakes,” Allmendinger said. “Starting on the front row is a big deal here. Hell, I don’t have a job, might as well steal the win.”

Alex Bowman was third-fastest, Chase Elliott fourth and Kyle Larson completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 12 were Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Daniel Hemric and Erik Jones.

Round 1

Allmendinger led the way through the eventful first round, with an average lap speed of 106.658 mph.

Hemric was a surprising second-fastest (106.423 mph) and Bowman was third (106.418 mph). Elliott was fourth and Buescher completed the top-five.

Also advancing to the final round were Johnson, Larson, Bowyer, McMurray, Kurt Busch, Jones and Blaney.

Early in the session, Denny Hamlin got loose going through the backstretch chicane and slammed into the oval Turn 3 wall, doing extensive damage to his No. 11 Toyota.

 

Hamlin’s team was able to make repairs he got back out on the track and register a qualifying lap and ended up 27th. Jones also caught the tire barrier exiting the backstretch chicane and damaged his No. 20 Toyota.

Darrell Wallace Jr. spun early in the session – the fourth time he’s spun out on the track Friday, but as he did in the rest, he was able to continue on.

Among those who failed to advance to the final round were Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman.

Kyle Busch went out late in the session in an attempt to crack the Top 12 but on his first lap he cut through the frontstretch chicane and his lap was disallowed. He failed to serve a pass-thru penalty on pit road on the ensuing lap, so that one was disallowed as well.

“This is junk,” Busch said over his radio while working his final attempt.

Cla # Driver 4506 Time Gap Mph
1 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 1'16.805   106.868
2 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 1'16.846 0.041 106.811
3 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 1'16.854 0.049 106.800
4 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 1'17.001 0.196 106.596
5 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 1'17.017 0.212 106.574
6 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 1'17.098 0.293 106.462
7 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 1'17.192 0.387 106.332
8 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 1'17.358 0.553 106.104
9 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 1'17.493 0.688 105.919
10 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 1'17.760 0.955 105.556
11 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 1'17.796 0.991 105.507
12 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 1'17.868 1.063 105.409
13 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 1'17.390 0.585 106.060
14 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 1'17.575 0.770 105.807
15 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 1'17.589 0.784 105.788
16 6 United States Trevor Bayne  Ford 1'17.618 0.813 105.749
17 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 1'17.663 0.858 105.687
18 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 1'17.668 0.863 105.681
19 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 1'17.947 1.142 105.302
20 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 1'18.031 1.226 105.189
21 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 1'18.082 1.277 105.120
22 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 1'18.101 1.296 105.095
23 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 1'18.258 1.453 104.884
24 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 1'18.389 1.584 104.709
25 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 1'18.435 1.630 104.647
26 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 1'18.455 1.650 104.620
27 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 1'18.561 1.756 104.479
28 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 1'18.657 1.852 104.352
29 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 1'18.665 1.860 104.341
30 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 1'18.898 2.093 104.033
31 15 United States Justin Marks  Chevrolet 1'18.972 2.167 103.936
32 95 United States Regan Smith  Chevrolet 1'19.267 2.462 103.549
33 72 United States Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 1'19.489 2.684 103.260
34 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 1'19.910 3.105 102.716
35 7 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 1'19.940 3.135 102.677
36 23 United States J.J. Yeley  Toyota 1'20.444 3.639 102.034
37 96 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 1'20.510 3.705 101.950
38 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 1'21.196 4.391 101.089
39 51 Stanton Barrett  Ford 1'21.871 5.066 100.255
40 66 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 1'22.022 5.217 100.071

Take a virtual lap around the Charlotte Roval with the No. 78 Toyota Camry of Martin Truex Jr., courtesy of NASCAR Heat 3, which you can order now:

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