Kurt Busch Starting 14th in Sunday's AAA Texas 500

November 4, 2011

FORT WORTH, Tex. (Nov. 4, 2011) – AAA Dodge Charger driver Kurt Busch will start 14th in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 here at Texas Motor Speedway after turning in an official qualifying lap of 28.056 seconds (192.472 mph) in this afternoon’s runs against the clock.

"I think that we have a fast AAA Dodge for Sunday,” Busch offered after making his qualifying lap.  “We were just a touch loose and I was late getting back to the throttle.  We have two practices tomorrow to get her dialed in.  We really want to get out there and shine here in Texas on Sunday.  We’d love to put the AAA Dodge in Victory Lane in the AAA-sponsored race.

“It’d be just super cool if we can win it and get that big $500 grand check for Ronita Thatcher,” said Busch.  “We wish she could be here with us, but we understand.  My hat’s off to the AAA guys for throwing the big TV party, so we know that she’ll be watching and cheering us on.  Rest assured that we’ll be doing everything we can to take that checkered flag.”

Thatcher, a resident of Thousand Oaks, Calif., became eligible to cash in big time with a Sunday Kurt Busch victory by winning the recent AAA Road to Win Sweepstakes.  The contest ran from June until September in California, Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii.

Greg Biffle claimed the Coors Light Pole Award here this afternoon with his fast lap of 27.873 seconds (193.736 mph).  David Ragan (27.874 seconds) will start Sunday’s race from the outside pole, with Matt Kenseth (27.884) third, Paul Menard (27.916) fourth and Tony Stewart (27.942) fifth.  David Reutimann, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski (lap of 27.976/193.023, good for eighth in the Miller Lite Dodge), Kasey Kahne and Regan Smith rounded out the top-10 qualifiers here today.

Positions 11-20, in order, went to Jimmie Johnson, Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne, Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Vickers.

Saturday’s schedule here at TMS features practices from 8:45 a.m. till 9:30 a.m. and from 10:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m.  Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 (334 laps, 501 miles) has a scheduled 2:00 p.m. local starting time on the 1.5-mile Dallas/Fort Worth Area speed plant.  ESPN-TV and PRN Radio will provide live coverage of all the action.