Kurt Busch Starting Fourth in Sunday's Pocono 500

June 5, 2009

LONG POND, Pa. (June 5, 2009) - Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch will start fourth in Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway after persistent rain forced officials to pull the plug on Friday's activities shortly after 2:30 p.m. With the total washout, Sunday's starting field was set by the NASCAR rule book.

"There's nothing you can do about the weather but plan ahead and that's what we've been doing here today," said Busch, a two-time winner on this flat 2.5-mile track. "The rest of the weekend looks really nice, so we've all been huddled up in front of the transporter ironing out our plans to get the most out of tomorrow's (Saturday's) two practice sessions."

With today's schedule getting scrapped and no qualifying held, points-leader Tony Stewart will start from the pole. Jeff Gordon will start on the outside of the front row, with Jimmie Johnson and Busch making up Row No. 2. Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Jeff Burton complete the top-10 starters.

Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr. will start 26th, while teammate David Stremme will go from the 29th starting spot. Derrike Cope, Mike Wallace and Tony Raines failed to make the field for Sunday's race.

"I think it might work to our advantage in that we didn't get out there at all today," crew chief Pat Tryson said. "We've been focusing solely on race setup anyhow when it came to our preparation for this weekend. We'll start fourth here on Sunday and have a good spot on pit road. We spent several hours today during the rain coming up with a plan and check list for the two practices tomorrow. I'm confident that we're in pretty good shape."

In 16 career races here at Pocono, Busch has never started fourth. Both of his wins have come from the second starting spot. Busch has also recorded four second-place Pocono finishes in his career dating back to the June race of 2001.

Saturday's schedule at Pocono Raceway calls for practice from 10:00 a.m. till 10:45 a.m. (live on Speed-TV) and from 11:20 a.m. till 12:20 p.m. (live on Speed-TV). Sunday's Pocono 500 (200 laps, 500 miles) on the "Tricky Triangle" is scheduled to get the green flag at approximately 2:15 p.m. Race No. 14 of 36 points-paying events on the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will feature live coverage by TNT-TV and MRN Radio.