Kyle Busch posted a speed of 138.766 mph to capture the pole for Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Busch set a new Sprint Cup Qualifying record at PIR with a lap time of 25.943 seconds.
Busch earned his 10th pole in 292 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and his first since July (New Hampshire). It is Busch’s second pole and 21st top-10 start in 2012. He has now earned two poles in 16 races at Phoenix International Raceway and his first since April 2006.
“Dave (Rogers, crew chief) made some really good adjustments there from qualifying practice to now and the car drove exactly like it needed to for those two laps,” said Busch. “The Camry was just fast today. I’m just proud of the effort.”
Martin Truex Jr. joins Kyle Busch on the front row after posting a speed of 138.217 mph. For Truex Jr., it was his 17th top-10 start of the season and his ninth in 14 races at PIR.
Denny Hamlin (137.578) and Kasey Kahne (137.478), who have combined to win the last two Sprint Cup races at PIR, will start from the second row. Kahne currently sits in fourth place, 58 points behind Johnson in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. For Hamlin, it is his sixth top-10 start at PIR and his 21st in 35 races this season.
Chase points leader Jimmie Johnson finished 24th with a speed of 135.440 mph and a lap time of 26.580 seconds. Brad Keselowski, who ranks second in the Chase and trails Johnson by seven points, qualified 14th with a speed of 136.622 mph (26.350).
“Wasn’t so good, but we’ve been fighting a little bit in qualifying, but we’ve got a great baseline race setup to go off of,” said Johnson. “The glare was pretty bad getting into the turn (one) then getting the power down was tough for me off of turn two.”Clint Bowyer, who enters Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 ranked third in points, will start from the 16th position after posting a speed of 136.436