Kurt Busch Starting 19th At The Glen After Rain Rules Again

August 9, 2008

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 8, 2008) - For the fifth time in the first 22 races along the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup tour, the field for a race was set by the NASCAR rule book due to adverse weather conditions. The latest event to see qualifying fall victim to weather was Sunday's Centurion Boats at the Glen race at Watkins Glen International as Friday's Cup activity here at this sprawling 2.45-mile road course was hit by rain showers.

"Man, I really wanted to get in practice and qualifying here today," said Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch, who will start 19th on the grid here on Sunday per his car owner points. "We've done extremely well here in qualifying over the years and really had this race pegged as one where we might even win the pole.

"We need to get us a pole this year so we can be eligible for the Clash, Shootout or whatever the heck they are calling the race next February for this year's Coors Light Pole Award winners," said Busch. "This was definitely one that we put the big asterisk by when we were looking at the list and saying, ‘hey, we should have a good shot at the pole there.' But I guess it's pretty par for course the way that this year has gone. Nobody out there could argue that it was a case of missed opportunity here today, that's for sure."

Today's qualifying washout accounted for the second consecutive year that adverse weather forced officials to scrap qualifying. It meant that Busch remains as the most recent driver to start from the pole here for a Cup race based upon posting a qualifying speed, after he captured the top starting spot here for the 2006 race. He definitely should have been considered as a serious threat for the pole here today as only once in his five other starts did he qualify farther back than ninth.

"Like they say, it is what it is...and we'll go from there," said Busch. "The worst thing about it is the fact that we'll be 19th in the line for pit choice. Just as we've been trying to do, we'll take it, go on and do the best we can. We just hope the weather cooperates and we can get in some practice here tomorrow."

Kyle Busch starts on the pole, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. second, Carl Edwards third, Jimmie Johnson fourth and Jeff Burton fifth. Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin round out Sunday's top-10 starters. Due to owner's points, Aric Almirola starts 15th in the No. 8 DEI entry, bolstered by the car owner points accumulated by part-time driver Mark Martin. Kurt Busch is 18th in driver points, but will start 19th in Sunday's race due to this unusual situation.

Busch's Penske Racing teammate Ryan Newman will start his Kodak Dodge 16th, while Penske Racing's rookie competitor Sam Hornish Jr. will start for the 34th spot.

Saturday's schedule here at The Glen features Cup practice sessions from 12 noon till 12:45 p.m. and from 1:20 p.m. till 2:20 p.m. Sunday's Centurion Boats at the Glen Sprint Cup race has a 2:00 p.m. EDT starting time, with ESPN and MRN Radio presenting live coverage of the 90-lap, 220.5-mile battle.