Kurt Busch Starting On Outside Pole At Dover On Sunday

May 31, 2008

DOVER, Del. (May 30, 2008) - Kurt Busch will start his Miller Lite Dodge from the outside pole in Sunday's Best Buy 400 here at Dover International Speedway after turning in an official qualifying lap of 153.971 mph (23.381 seconds) in Friday's time trials session.

"Since Darlington, it seems like our numbers are getting better," said Busch, who has never started better than fourth in 15 prior races here on the "Monster Mile." "Practice and qualifying are one thing, but now we need to get us some great numbers in the race finishing position department."

Today's performance was Busch's best qualifying day tally since he started second at Atlanta last October. It marked the 13th time in his career that he took the outside pole for a Cup race. His best start this season prior to today was earlier this month at Darlington where he started fifth.

"I thought it was a great run for our team," said Busch. "The way the car unloaded off the hauler, I was very comfortable. I have to thank the crew for setting me up with that comfort. When you come to the ‘Monster Mile,' you are always a bit apprehensive on how your setup is going to shake down, whether it's tight or, on the bad side of things, loose. You don't want to be loose here.

"It was great for us today to qualify second with the Miller Lite Dodge," Busch continued. "I was trying to chase down (Greg) Biffle, but he ran an incredible lap. We've been testing a lot the last few weeks. It's helped to narrow down a setup maybe. It worked here. We hope it continues to work on down the road. To be good today is a small victory. We're just trying to claw our way back."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was first out in qualifying here this afternoon and his lap of 151.630 mph (23.742 seconds) held the point for only moments before Jeff Gordon took to the track fifth. His lap of 153.368 mph (23.473 seconds) held the provisional pole until Kyle Busch hit the track 10th in the order. The younger Busch Brother turned in a lap of 153.767 mph (23.412 seconds). Greg Biffle, out 26th, turned heads with his lap of 155.219 mph (23.193 seconds). Kurt, who was 35th of the 45 drivers that made attempts, was closest of the remaining drivers to Biffle's lap, but he had to settle for the outside-front-row starting spot.

So Biffle goes from the pole in Sunday's race, with Kurt starting second and brother Kyle third. Jimmie Johnson starts fourth, with Jamie McMurray fifth. Brian Vickers, Gordon, A.J. Almendinger, Elliott Sadler and Jeremy Mayfield (driving the No. 40 Ganassi Dodge) rounded out today's top-10 qualifiers. Busch's Penske Racing teammates Ryan Newman starts 11th (162.782 mph/23.563 seconds) and Sam Hornish Jr. starts 16th (152.458 mph/23.613 seconds).

Saturday's schedule here at Dover International Speedway calls for practice from 12 noon till 12:45 p.m. and the final "Happy Hour" practice session from 1:20 p.m. till 2:20 p.m. Sunday's Best Buy 400 benefiting Student Clubs for Autism Speaks (400 laps/400 miles) has a 2:00 p.m. EDT starting time and features live coverage by FOX-TV and MRN Radio.