Kurt Busch Takes Sprint Cup Pole For Michigan 400

Kurt Busch Takes Sprint Cup Pole For Michigan 400

By: Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent

Story Highlights

  • Busch hands Penske Racing 4th straight pole
  • Reutimann settles for 2nd starting position
  • Kenseth starts from 3rd

Kurt Busch claims his third consecutive 2011 Cup pole

With a lap time of 38.156 seconds, Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Dodge for Penske Racing, edged out David Reutimann’s No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota to claim the pole on Saturday for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

“It’s amazing how it comes down to thousandths of seconds,” Busch said.

The pole for Sunday’s race is the third-straight for Busch and the fourth consecutive for Penske Racing.

David Reutimann, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
David Reutimann, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

Reutimann turned in a lap at 38.159 seconds, just 0.003 seconds slower than Busch, to capture the other front-row starting spot. According to the Toyota driver he lost that fraction of a second near the end of his qualifying lap. “We wiggled in the middle down there,” Reutimann said. “I let it wiggle, and it cost us.”

Matt Kenseth in the No. 17 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing was the only other driver to post a lap in under 38.2 seconds. After posting a time of 38.172 seconds, Kenseth will start third on Sunday.

“That was a really good lap for us,” Kenseth said. “We were just too loose in three and four and couldn’t quite carry the speed I needed to carry there.”

Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

Brian Vickers held the provisional pole through much of the qualifying session, going out 20th in his No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota and holding on to the top spot until Kenseth went out 39th. After posting a lap time of 38.266, Vickers eventually got shuffled back to a fourth-place, second-row starting spot by the end of the qualifying session.

“Thank goodness the sun is out,” Vickers said soon after making his qualifying attempt.

The heat from the sun took grip away from the race track, making qualifying runs difficult for several drivers and enabling Vickers to hold on to the provisional pole until the later, faster cars went out.

Among the late-goers was Regan Smith in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet. With a qualifying lap of 38.378 seconds, Smith rounded out the top-five.

Starting Grid

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Michael Waltrip , Kurt Busch , David Reutimann , Brian Vickers , Regan Smith
Teams Red Bull Racing , Team Penske , Roush Fenway Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing
Tags amanda vincent, dodge, kurt busch, penske, reuitmann