Kurt Busch tops Martin Truex Jr. for New Hampshire pole

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Kurt Busch tops Martin Truex Jr. for New Hampshire pole
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Jul 20, 2018, 9:46 PM

The only Stewart-Haas Racing driver to make the final round of qualifying – Kurt Busch – won the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

With three of his teammates eliminated in Round 2, Kurt Busch was able to bolt to the top of the leaderboard in the final round to win the pole for Sunday’s Foxwoods Casino 301.

It’s the third pole for the season for Busch and 25th is his career. It’s also Busch’s second pole in the last six races.

“Thank you guys, good work,” Busch said over his team radio after completing his lap.

Busch’s lap of 133.591 mph just edged Martin Truex Jr. (133.502 mph) while younger brother Kyle Busch – who was fastest in the first two rounds – ended up third (133.431 mph).

“It’s a track that has been pretty good to me since I started racing in the top series of this sport. I raced there for the first time in the Truck Series and won that race," Busch said of New Hampshire.
"Then, it’s a track where I have three wins in the Cup cars and, when you’re able to go to a track where you’ve had that kind of success, it just gives you confidence.

"Because of the wins and everything, it’s a place we go to where I feel like I especially know what it takes from the car and the driver to be successful.”

Denny Hamlin was fourth and Ryan Blaney completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 12 starters are Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, William Byron and Paul Menard.

Round 2

Kyle Busch led a Toyota sweep of the top-five positions in the second round with an average lap speed of 133.656 mph.

Suarez ended up second (133.544 mph) and Truex was third (133.441 mph). Jones and Hamlin completed the top-five.

Also advancing to the final round were Kurt Busch, Blaney, Elliott, Byron, Bowman, Keselowski and Menard.

Kurt Busch was the top Ford while Elliott was the top-performing Chevrolet.

“I didn’t see us picking up on the second lap because of the tightness,” Kurt Busch told his crew chief, Billy Scott, after his qualifying attempt.

Among those who failed to advance to the final round were three Stewart-Haas Racing drivers – Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer; Joey Logano; Kyle Larson; and Jimmie Johnson.

Round 1

Kyle Busch, who was fastest in Friday’s lone practice session, led the way in the first round in which a majority of cars waited until the final five minutes to make their qualifying attempts.

Busch’s lap at 133.114 mph just edged Bowman (133.068 mph) and Byron (132.831 mph). Kurt Busch and Truex completed the top-five.

Completing the top 10 were Suarez, Almirola, Harvick, Hamlin and Blaney.

“That was definitely a cluster,” Harvick said over his team radio regarding the mass of cars waiting until the last minute to make qualifying runs.

Among those who failed to advance to the second round were Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher, Kasey Kahne, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Matt Kenseth.

It was more than three minutes into the 15-minute session before the first driver, Michael McDowell, got on the track and took a lap.

Only eight cars had taken a speed with five minutes left in the session.

All cars cleared inspection prior to the start of Round 1.

Cla#DriverManufacturerTimeGapMph
1 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 28.511   133.591
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 28.530 0.019 133.502
3 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 28.545 0.034 133.431
4 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 28.560 0.049 133.361
5 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 28.698 0.187 132.720
6 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 28.699 0.188 132.715
7 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 28.708 0.197 132.674
8 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 28.720 0.209 132.618
9 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 28.728 0.217 132.581
10 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 28.754 0.243 132.462
11 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 28.771 0.260 132.383
12 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 28.813 0.302 132.190
13 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 28.727 0.216 132.586
14 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 28.734 0.223 132.554
15 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 28.767 0.256 132.402
16 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 28.772 0.261 132.379
17 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 28.798 0.287 132.259
18 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 28.811 0.300 132.200
19 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 28.834 0.323 132.094
20 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 28.846 0.335 132.039
21 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 28.871 0.360 131.925
22 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 28.912 0.401 131.738
23 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 28.976 0.465 131.447
24 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 29.022 0.511 131.238
25 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 29.020 0.509 131.247
26 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 29.085 0.574 130.954
27 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 29.106 0.595 130.860
28 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 29.123 0.612 130.783
29 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 29.171 0.660 130.568
30 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 29.179 0.668 130.532
31 6 united_states Matt Kenseth  Ford 29.190 0.679 130.483
32 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 29.477 0.966 129.213
33 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 29.491 0.980 129.151
34 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 29.495 0.984 129.134
35 99 united_states Kyle Weatherman  Chevrolet 29.855 1.344 127.577
36 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 29.860 1.349 127.555
37 23 united_states Blake Jones Toyota 30.579 2.068 124.556

 

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