Rookie Kyle Busch grabs his first pole

Kyle Busch grabbed his first career Cup series pole for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Busch's lap of 188.245 bested the field by 0.505 miles per hour. "It was pretty good," said Busch. "The CarQuest Chevrolet was really running there.

Kyle Busch grabbed his first career Cup series pole for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Busch's lap of 188.245 bested the field by 0.505 miles per hour.

"It was pretty good," said Busch. "The CarQuest Chevrolet was really running there. It went down the straightaway, Hendrick horsepower. My crew chief Alan Gustafson and I are trying to gel together and try to get our chemistry going."

At 19, Busch is the youngest driver to ever sit on a pole for a Cup event.

"The run was fun," Busch said. "We went out there and I was just going to lay down a lap and see how good we could make it. It was just a little bit free but overall it was definitely a good lap and it was exciting that it turned that quick.

"That's pretty cool."

Busch's teammate Brian Vickers held the second quickest time with a lap of 187.740 mph.

"We are all excited the both of us being on the front row," said Vickers. "We went through a lot of changes this year, the 25 and the 5, and obviously those changes are starting to show.

"Everybody is excited about it and I think it is a step in the right direction. Not just this year but in years to come."

The No. 19 of Jeremy Mayfield was the only Dodge in the top five. Mayfield toured the 1.5-mile speedway with a lap of 187.512 mph.

"I think the cars are freer and moving around a little more," said Mayfield. "We feel like we've done all we can do to get it balanced. The true test will be in the race tomorrow. It wasn't too wild in qualifying, but it was a little freer than I wanted to be. It was fast and we picked up a ton. I feel good about that.

"This is one of my best tracks."

Joe Nemechek and Greg Biffle complete the top five.

"Not quite what we wanted," said Biffle. "But we'll take that. I think we will be good for the race on Sunday."

Dave Blaney went to hot in turn three and backed the No. 07 Chevy into the wall. The team will have to resort to their back-up car and take the green flag from the 42nd spot. Elliott Sadler blew an engine on his qualifying lap and will be relegated to start at the rear of the field in the 41rst position.

Eric McClure wrecked on his lap and will not make the race, and Kirk Shelmerdine did not take his time-trial lap and will also sit out the Auto Club 500. Also missing the show will be Stanton Barrett, Hermie Sadler, and Stan Boyd.

This is the first weekend NASCAR is implementing an amended weekend schedule. Tossing out Saturday's 'Happy Hour' and instead running two Friday practice sessions and qualifying on Saturday.

Cars are being impounded directly after qualifying and not allowed to be worked on until Sunday morning.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , Hermie Sadler , Stanton Barrett , Brian Vickers , Stan Boyd , Eric McClure , Elliott Sadler , Dave Blaney , Kyle Busch