Busch To Start 40th in Allstate 400 at the Brickyard

July 25, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS (July 25, 2009) - Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch will start Sunday's prestigious and rich Allstate 400 at the Brickyard from the 40th spot after he was hit by severe handling problems during his qualifying lap.

"We're not sure what happened (on the qualifying run)," Busch said of his lap of 51.303 seconds (175.428 mph), which saw his Dodge Charger bouncing around in all the corners of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway quad-oval. "We'll have the guys look it over and figure it out.

"There must have been something wrong with the front shock and front rubber combination," Busch added after qualifying 19th in the order. "We'll dissect it and work really hard on getting our race setup working during the final practice. We'll have to start our Miller Lite Dodge from the rear and it's going to be a real challenge here tomorrow, but I can guarantee you that we'll be after the very best finish that we can get."

Rain showers in the area delayed the start of Saturday's qualifying some four hours as the first car did not hit the track until 2:00 p.m. Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Mobil 1 Dodge for Penske Racing, had the dubious honor of having to be the first driver out on the rain-freshened asphalt. His lap of 50.166 seconds (179.404) gave the rest of the competitors something to shoot at.

Mark Martin, who was fastest in practice, was out third in the order. His lap of 49.436 seconds (182.054 mph) set the new bar. It would turn out to not be within reach of any of the 43 drivers who followed the No. 5 Hendrick Chevrolet driver onto the track.

When the dust had settled, it was Martin on the pole, with Juan Pablo Montoya (out 17th & turned in lap of 49.776 seconds/180.803 mph) on the outside of the front row. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (sixth in order & 49.843/180.567 lap) will start third, with Bill Elliott (49.901/180.357) fourth and David Reutimann (49.940/180.216) fifth. Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Reed Sorenson and Clint Bowyer rounded out today's top-10 qualifiers.

The qualifying results will see current Chase-eligible drivers Denny Hamlin starting 14th, Jimmie Johnson going 16th, Ryan Newman 17th, Kyle Busch 20th, Jeff Gordon 22nd and Matt Kenseth 25th.

The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driver will have some strong company also starting from the rear of the field as Carl Edwards and Elliott Sadler will both line up behind the 2004 NASCAR champ.

"Our qualifying setup was so different than what we're racing that we immediately went into the full change-over mode," said crew chief Pat Tryson. "It was so important to make the best of the final 90-minute practice session. At the end of the day, we'll go back and look at all the parts and pieces and figure out exactly what happened during the qualifying run."

Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (400 miles, 160 laps around 2.5-mile IMS track) is scheduled for a 2:15 p.m. start, with ESPN and IMS Radio Network beginning their coverage of the event at 1:00 p.m.