Kurt Busch Starting 14th in Sunday's Good Sam Club 500

October 23, 2011

TALLADEGA, Ala., (October 22, 2011) – Under cool, clear Alabama skies, Kurt Busch powered his Shell-Pennzoil Dodge to a 14th-place starting position with a lap of 53.209 seconds (179.970 mph) around the 2.66-mile high-banked oval of Talladega Superspeedway (TMS).

Busch enters the 500-mile events as a prohibitive favorite.  In 43-career restrictor-plate races, Busch has scored 16 top five and 25 top 10 finishes in 43-career restrictor plate race finishes.  His best TMS finish of third was set in 2001 during his rookie year.

“I feel like that was  a good lap for on where we wanted to be with me and Brad,” Busch said.  “We’re going to draft a lot with the 78 car tomorrow.  We’ve run well together in the past and think that it’s a good combination for tomorrow.”

Two-car tandem racing will be much the story tomorrow afternoon.  The 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion Busch will plan to team-up with the No. 78 of Regan Smith much like they did at the three previous restrictor-plate races this season (Daytona 500, Talladega-1, Daytona-2).  Smith will start 22nd.  

With Penske teammate Brad Keselowski starting only two positions behind the Double Deuce in 16th, could the two Penske Dodge’s team-up early?

“We’ll let it play out,” Busch grinned.  “We’ll just sort it out on the race track.  It’s a long 500 miles.  It doesn’t matter what happens at the start of the race.  Our two Dodges are fast.  It’s a long race.”

Mark Martin claimed the Coors Light Pole Award with the fast lap of 52.799 seconds (181.367 mph) and will lead the field to green for tomorrow’s 188-lap event.

Sunday’s Good Sam Club 500 has a 2:00 p.m. ET starting time and features live coverage by  ESPN and MRN Radio.