Kurt Busch Starting Third at Infineon Raceway

June 20, 2008

SONOMA, Calif. (June 20, 2008) Kurt Busch will start his Miller Lite Dodge from the third starting spot in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway after posting a lap of 77.865 seconds (92.005 mph).

"That was a great team effort for our Miller Lite Dodge gang," a happy Busch said after climbing from his car in the NASCAR impound area of the garage where officials held the top-five qualifiers. "We struggled somewhat in practice, turning in only the 24th-fastest lap (78.691 seconds/91.040 mph), so that was a really nice pickup that we made during our run out there.

"We made four or five major adjustments and it was just what we needed to do to pick up the speed," said Busch. "We were almost back to the setup we used in qualifying here last year."

Kasey Kahne, who was the third driver to take to the track in the qualifying session, claimed the pole with a fast lap of 77.740 seconds (92.153 mph). Jimmie Johnson, who was out 11th, starts second after turning in a lap of 77.836 seconds (92.040 mph). Bobby Labonte will start fourth and Jeff Gordon fifth. Elliott Sadler, Marcos Ambrose (in No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford), Robby Gordon, Ryan Newman (78.279 seeconds/91.519 mph) and Greg Biffle rounded out today's top-10 qualifiers.

"We wound up hitting on the right combination for the one lap in qualifying and now comes the big chore of getting the car dialed in for Sunday's race," Busch continued. "The practices here tomorrow will be extremely important. We worked on race setups for the majority of the practice here today so maybe we have a head start on it. One of the biggest factors that we'll be considering for Sunday is fuel mileage. Fuel mileage and strategy have won most of the races at this track in recent years."

It was a very competitive day here in qualifying for Penske Racing as all three teams made the top 20. Rookie driver Sam Hornish Jr. will start 17th in Sunday's race after turning in a lap of 78.598 seconds (91.147 mph).

Saturday's schedule here at Infineon Raceway calls for practice from 9:30 a.m. till 10:15 a.m. and the final "Happy Hour" practice session from 10:50 a.m. till 11:50 a.m. Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 (110 laps/350 kilometers) has a 2:00 p.m. local (5:00 p.m. EDT) starting time and features live coverage by TNT-TV and PRN Radio.