The No. 18 Toyota of Kyle Busch inherited the pole for Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland after rain canceled the planned session and the grid was set by owner points. Busch was only 15th best in the lone practice session before ...
The No. 18 Toyota of Kyle Busch inherited the pole for Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland after rain canceled the planned session and the grid was set by owner points. Busch was only 15th best in the lone practice session before qualifying this weekend with a 30.319 (178.106 mph). With six wins this year for Busch, starting first for the fourth time this season is just more icing on the cake.
Busch has been average at Chicagoland, with only one finish in the top-five in his three visits. His previous best starting position was sixth in 2007 and his previous best finish was third in 2006. Busch will lead the field down to the green on Saturday night though and try to continue the hot streak he has been on all year.
Starting in second on the outside of Busch is the No. 88 Chevy of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who currently sits second in the driver standings. Earnhardt has a career average finish of 15.1 at Chicagoland and earned a win here back in 2005 during a tough season. Earnhardt was fifth in practice with a 30.199 (178.814 mph) and looks to makeup ground on Busch in the championship hunt.
Starting third on the inside of the second row is the No. 31 Chevy of Jeff Burton. Burton, who is in the final year with his current sponsor unveiled the new scheme that the No. 31 team will be running next year earlier today. Burton wasn't fast in practice though, only running a 30.626 (176.321 mph) which put him 33rd overall. The track position due to rained out qualifying should certainly help him though. Burton has never won at Chicagoland but has one top-five and three top-tens at the track.
Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Ford team will be starting fourth for Saturday night's race and look to have a decent car after posting a time good enough for 13th in practice at 30.280 (178.335 mph). Edwards hopes to break through and get another win after nearly grabbing one last week at Daytona. Edwards has not been statistically strong at Chicagoland with an average finish of 20.7 but he does have one top-five at the track and one top-ten here in his career.
The No. 48 Chevy of Jimmie Johnson will be starting fifth for Sunday's race and the two-time champion looks to have a good shot at a win after having the second best time during practice with a 30.063 (179.623 mph). Johnson looks to add another win to his career total this year after grabbing his first win at Phoenix. Johnson has been strong at Chicagoland with an an average finish of 9.2, four top-fives, and five top-tens. Saturday night might be when he marks another facility off of his list of tracks left to win at.
Starting sixth is the No. 24 of Jeff Gordon, seventh is the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin, eighth the No. 9 of Kasey Kahne, ninth the No. 17 of Matt Kenseth, and tenth is the No. 07 of Clint Bowyer.
Greg Biffle and the No. 16 Ford team will be starting 11th for Saturday night's race and looks to have one of the strongest cars in the field after leading practice with a 30.042 (179.748 mph). Biffle has had bad luck all year but continues to be a threat for the title if he can snap that streak at Chicagoland.
Tony Stewart, who starts 12th and Kevin Harvick, who starts 13th have won four of the six races at Chicagoland.
Mark Martin, who starts 16th and will be moving to Hendrick Motorsports next year for a full time ride was 14th in practice with a 30.309 (178.165 mph). It is also interesting to note that Martin is making a reported eight million per year driving part time for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Ryan Newman was fourth quick in practice with a 30.190 (178.867 mph) and will start 17th for Saturday's race.
Martin Truex Jr. who will roll off 19th on Saturday night after penalties were levied from Daytona was third quick in practice with a 30.117 (179.301 mph).
Patrick Carpentier was the quickest rookie in practice with a 30.344 (177.959 mph) and will start 42nd with Regan Smith in the No. 01 being the highest starting rookie in 33rd.
Only two cars missed the show due to qualifying being canceled and they were the No. 34 of Tony Raines and the No. 08 of Johnny Sauter. Sauter was 44th in practice and Raines was 45th; the two slowest cars to make timed laps during practice.
Saturday night's race will be the first time that the Cup series has run under the lights at Chicagoland.