Kurt Busch Starting on Outside Pole in Sunday's AAA 400
October 1, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Autostock
DOVER, Del. (Oct. 1, 2011) – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch will start Sunday's "AAA 400" here at Dover International Speedway from the outside pole after turning in a lap of 22.644 seconds (158.983 mph) in Saturday's qualifying. The effort matched his best-ever starting spot here at the "Monster Mile," his second-place start here back in the June 2008 race.
"I had a good run coming out of Turn 2 and I hit the rev chip so hard that I scared myself," Busch said of his best qualifying effort this season since winning the pole for the June Michigan race. "I yanked on the wheel left and when the car landed, I had to steer right and then go back left. There is lot of action during a lap here at Dover. It's one of those fun tracks that I just love to race on.
"This will be a great start for us on Sunday," Busch said. "We just need a smooth and solid weekend. Right now, the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge is reacting just like we want it to in race trim. I think we have a fast race car."
Busch enters Sunday's race ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, trailing current leader Tony Stewart by 28 points with eight races remaining in the Chase for the series' championship. Busch was asked about his concern for the other Chase drivers in tomorrow's race.
"Yeah, we definitely look at where the Chase guys qualify," Busch said. "Jeff Gordon struggled today. A bunch of the other guys are right in the mix. You race your own race and let it pan out. You can't worry too early on in the race. Once you get to the final two pit stops, that's when you're looking at other Chase guys."
Martin Truex Jr. beat Busch for the Coors Light Pole Award by a mere three-thousandths of a second here this afternoon, with Truex's fast lap showing as 22.641 seconds (159.004 mph). Paul Menard will start third after turning in a lap of 22.689 seconds (158.667 mph). Carl Edwards (lap of 22.705 seconds/158.555 mph) starts fourth and Kyle Busch (22.706/158.548) will start fifth. Jimmie Johnson, A.J. Allmendinger, Bobby Labonte, Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle completed the top-10 qualifiers.
Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, currently third in the point standings, will start Sunday's race from the 15th position after turning in a lap of 22.832 seconds (157.673 mph) in his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge.
As for the pitting positions here tomorrow, Busch and his Steve Addington-led "Double-Deuce" team will pit from the 10th spot. There is a pit wall opening in front and the Mike Bliss team will pit behind. Keselowski and his Paul Wolfe-led team will pit from the 12th spot, in between the Bliss and Andy Lally teams.
Sunday's "AAA 400" (400 laps, 400 miles) here on the "Monster Mile" is scheduled to get the green flag at approximately 2:00 p.m. EDT. Race No. 28 of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will feature live coverage by ESPN-TV and MRN Radio.