Busch Earns Third-Place Starting Spot at Texas
November 6, 2009
"It was an excellent lap," said Busch, who was sixth fastest in practice with a lap of 28.676 seconds (188.311 mph) and picked up almost four-tenths of a second from practice to qualifying. "I thought we'd do OK, but we exceeded our expectations by running third. To be three-hundredths of a second from getting the pole, it makes you scratch your head and think maybe if I tried a little harder, I would have got it. But then there are times when you try too hard and you overstep the line and end up 15th to 20th. It's a really, really good lap for us.
"This car is brand new," Busch said of his "PRS-702" Miller Lite Dodge Charger. "We wanted to bring it to Charlotte, but I thought we should take a step back with the car that we brought to Charlotte and use this one here at Texas. A little bit of R & D work going on. Right now, I would say the engineering department is winning over the driver and that's the way it always should be. The lap was nice surprise for us today.
"This will be the last weekend for us to have Operation Homefront on the hood of our car," said Busch, who can earn another $10,000 bonus for the organization if he can finish in the top 10 here on Sunday. "It's a program organized around helping military families in need and it's a good program that goes good with Veterans Day. Miller Lite has donated over $200,000 to this program. It's been fun to work with and this is the last week for this program."
Jeff Gordon grabbed the pole here this afternoon with his fast lap of 28.255 seconds (191.117 mph) and will be joined on the front row by Kasey Kahne, who turned in a lap of 28.276 seconds (190.975 mph). Busch starts his "Blue Deuce" third, with Tony Stewart (28.328 seconds/190.624 mph) fourth and Kyle Busch (28.343 seconds/190.523 mph) fifth. Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer rounded out today's top-10 qualifiers.
Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr. (28.436 seconds/189.900 mph) will start 11th here on Sunday. Brad Keselowki, making his first start in the No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger, will start 35th after turning in a lap of 28.754 seconds (187.800 mph). Keselowski had turned in the ninth-fastest lap in the practice session that led to the afternoon's time trial session.
Saturday's action here at T.M.S. features morning practice which is scheduled from 8:45 a.m. till 9:30 a.m. and the final "happy hour" practice session is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m. (TV: ESPN2). Sunday's Dickies 500 (334 laps, 501 miles) has a scheduled 2:15 p.m. local starting time on the 1.5-mile Dallas/Fort Worth Area speed plant. ABC-TV and PRN Radio (locally heard on KLLI-FM 105.3 FM) will provide live coverage of all the action.