Kurt Busch Starting Coca-Cola 600 From Eighth Spot

May 23, 2008

CONCORD, N.C. (May 22, 2008) - Kurt Busch will start his Miller Lite Dodge Charger from the eighth starting spot in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway after turning in an official qualifying lap of 184.106 mph (29.331 seconds in Thursday's time trial session that determined all 43 starting spots.

"I thought it was a good pick up from where we thought the track would be," said Busch, who was 12th-fastest in the practice session leading up to qualifying, turning in a lap of 180.548 mph (29.909 seconds). "We were a little bit on the loose side with our Miller Lite Dodge Charger. But from where we've been lately, that was an OK lap and now we have to use Saturday's final practice to dial it in for race day on Sunday. My guys did a great job getting out Miller Lite Dodge ready right off the hauler. We'll tweak on it a bit for practice and try to gain some data for Sunday."

Busch was 24th in the qualifying order, going out six drivers after younger brother, Kyle, dazzled everyone again by putting a lap of 185.433 mph (29.121 seconds) on the board for the other competitors to shoot at. Brian Vickers, who took to the track six drivers after Kurt had made his run, came closest of the remaining drivers with his lap of 185.249 mph (29.150 seconds). Kasey Kahne, the surprise winner of last weekend's Sprint All-Star Race, had gone early in the session and ran a 185.300 mph (29.142-second) lap.

So it will be Kyle Busch on the pole for Sunday's 600-mile, 400-lap race, the longest race on the 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup tour. Kahne will start second, with Vickers third, Greg Biffle fourth and David Ragan fifth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Elliott Sadler and Jimmie Johnson rounded out today's top-10 qualifiers.

Rookie driver Sam Hornish Jr. will start the Mobil 1/Penske Dodge 20th after turning in a lap of 183.349 mph (29.452 seconds) and Alltel/Penske Dodge driver Ryan Newman will go from the 38th starting spot after recording a lap of 181.531 mph (29.747 seconds).

"It'll be all about survival and keeping up with the changing track conditions here on Sunday," said Kurt. "We're just hoping to be fortunate to be there in the hunt after the first 500 miles. We've been working extra-hard on our physical conditioning and hope to have a shot at showing what we're capable of doing during those final 100 miles. It's going to be a grueling race, I can guarantee you that."

There is no Cup activity on tap here at LMS on Friday. Saturday's schedule calls for practice from 2:45 p.m. till 3:30 p.m. and the final "Happy Hour" practice session from 6:00 p.m. till 6:50 p.m. Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (400 laps/600 miles) has a 5:45 p.m. EDT starting time and features live coverage by FOX-TV and the Performance Racing (radio) Network.