Kyle Busch claims pole at Phoenix


Kyle Busch turned in a 25.943-second lap at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday to claim the pole starting spot for Sunday’s Advocare 500, the next to last race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

“It was good,” Busch said. “(Crew chief) Dave (Rogers) made some really good adjustments there from qualifying practice to now and the car drove exactly like it needed to for those two laps. Did it on the first one, but thought I gave up a little bit in three and four so I wanted to try for a second one to see if I could get any more speed out of it.”

Toyota claimed the top-three spots on the starting grid, with Martin Truex Jr. claiming the second spot with a lap time of 26.046 seconds to claim the front-row starting spot alongside Busch.

“It was good lap, definitely a good lap for our NAPA Toyota. We had a really good practice today,” Truex said. “We had good speed all day long. Obviously, the late draw was something that we knew was going to be big. We were fortunate enough to be able to get that and go out late, put down a good lap.”

Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin was third.

Chevrolet and Ford claimed the other two spots inside the top-five, with Chevy driver Kasey Kahne claiming fourth, and Ford driver Aric Almirola taking the fifth position on the grid.

Qualifying sixth through 10th were Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin.

Only four of the 12 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers (Truex, Hamlin, Kahne and Stewart) turned in top-10 qualifying laps. The slowest of the Chasers during qualifying was points leader Jimmie Johnson, who qualified 24th. He’ll be joined in the 12th row by fellow-Chaser and Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified just ahead of him in 23rd.

Forty-four drivers made qualifying attempts. The only driver to make an attempt who didn’t qualify for the race was J.J. Yeley.

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Tags: Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch NASCAR Phoenix International Raceway