Kyle Busch was a record breaker two times over during NASCAR Nationwide Series pole qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, setting a new track record with a 50.099-second lap for the pole starting spot for Saturday evening’s Indiana 250. This most recent pole is Busch’s 31st, giving him the most poles in series history. It’s also his fifth Nationwide Series pole of 2013.
“Definitely wasn’t wide open,” Busch said of his record-setting lap. “Just had to make sure the car stuck.”
Busch went out late in the qualifying session and knocked previous provisional pole sitter, Sam Hornish Jr., from the top spot. Hornish will start Saturday’s race alongside Busch on the front row in second. Trevor Bayne was third in qualifying.
Seventeen drivers bettered the previous track qualifying record set by Kasey Kahne last year, but the session wasn’t flawless for everybody. Multiple drivers made contact with a retaining wall during qualifying. Both Joey Gase and Alex Bowman hit the outside wall during their qualifying attempts. Later, Travis Pastrana spun and got into the inside retaining wall. Gase’s incident knocked him out of a potential spot on the starting grid, while Pastrana and Bowman were able to get in by virtue of car owner points. The other three drivers who failed to qualify for the race were Matt Dibenedetto, Carl Long and Morgan Shepherd.
Elliott Sadler qualified fourth, and Parker Kligerman rounded out the top-five.
“Car drove better than I thought it was going to, and I left some on the table,” Sadler said.
Qualifying sixth through 10th were Brian Vickers, Austin Dillon, Nelson Piequet Jr., Matt Kenseth and Paul Menard.
Michael Annett made his qualifying attempt about halfway through the session and briefly claimed the provisional pole. Parker Kligerman, the next driver out, knocked Annett down a notch and took over at the top of the scoring pylon. Kligerman’s time on the provisional pole was also short-lived, as Hornish went out not too long afterward and temporary claimed the top spot. Hornish was scored as the provisional pole sitter for longer than Annett or Kligerman, but the pole wasn’t meant to be, as he was moved over to second starting spot by Busch late in the qualifying session.
— Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
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