Kyle Busch led dominant Toyota during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole qualifying on Friday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400. Busch turned in a 56.458-second lap about halfway through the qualifying session to take the pole. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Matt Kenseth will start beside him on the front row after posting a lap time of 46.560 seconds.
“We’re a top-five team right now, and we need to keep working hard with (crew chief) Dave (Rogers) and the guys to keep bringing fast cars to the track and bring home solid finishes the next several weeks,” Busch said. “Daytona is a different animal. We ran really well there in February, but, obviously, had the engine trouble that knocked us out. I think we will have another strong car and you just hope you can stay out of a wreck and we can bring home a win, or at least another good finish with our Interstate All Battery Center Camry.”
Another Toyota driver, Martin Truex Jr., went out early in the qualifying session and claimed the provisional pole. But Kenseth, the 16th car out on the track during qualifying, knocked him from the top of the scoring pylon. A few cars later, Busch claimed the provisional pole and held on to the top spot on the starting grid.
Truex was shuffled back to fifth by the end of qualifying. One of the drivers to move him down a notch was Michael Waltrip Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer, who qualified third.
Kasey Kahne was the only non-Toyota driver to qualify in the top-five, taking fourth.
“I just thought it looked really windy,” Kahne said. “I saw the flags moving. It looks like it’s blowing from the backstretch to the frontstretch. I just kind of went around there. I felt where it pushed me a little bit. I never felt it bog the car down. That was good; our engines run really well. I think we have a fast car, obviously, to go that quick today.”
Paul Menard qualified sixth, and in a rare appearance behind the wheel, Michael Waltrip took seventh. Jimmie Johnson was eighth. Fellow-Roush Fenway Racing Ford drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Greg Biffle qualified ninth and 10th.
“It’s good,” Stenhouse said. “These guys are working really hard on our cars. It’s always nice to be the fastest Ford. I wish we could be the fastest car, overall.”
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR