Kurt Busch Starting 21st At Richmond On Saturday Night

May 2, 2008

RICHMOND, Va. (May 2, 2008) - Kurt Busch will start his Miller Lite Dodge Charger from the 21st starting spot in Saturday's Crown Royal 400 here at Richmond International Raceway after picking up greatly in speed from practice to qualifying.

"The practice sheet shows that we were 21st in practice and that we qualified 21st, but we think it's a much better situation than those numbers may show," said Busch, who turned in an official qualifying lap of 124.890 mph (21.619 seconds). "We ran a 22.19 (-second lap in practice) and turned a 21.64 (21.648-second lap) on our first lap out there. On stickers (tires), we figured to pick up another couple of tenths on the second lap.

"We've just been a little too much on the tight side here since we unloaded," said Busch, who was 31st in the qualifying order this afternoon. "We fought the tightness in the practice and it probably bit us on that second qualifying lap. It's the second impound race in a row and that will be interesting as to how strong these guys can come out running at the beginning of tomorrow night's race.

"We'll focus on getting the car freed up some more and hope that we can stay on top of the changes in the track for all 400 laps here tomorrow night," said Busch. "We'll hang tough like we did in both races here last season and hope for the best. It could be the kind of race our team really needs right now."

Local hero Denny Hamlin took the pole here today with his fast lap of 126.198 mph (21.395 seconds). Mark Martin (126.033 mph/21.423 seconds) starts second, with Martin Truex Jr. third, Patrick Carpentier fourth and Reed Sorenson fifth.

Penske Racing teammate Ryan Newman starts 10th (125.348 mph/21.540 seconds), while rookie teammate Sam Hornish Jr. (124.138 mph/21.750 seconds) will start from the 35th position.

Saturday's Crown Royal 400 (400 laps, 300 miles) has a 7:30 p.m. EDT starting time and features live coverage by FOX-TV and MRN Radio.