Kurt Busch Starting 17th in Kansas

October 8, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Oct. 7, 2011) – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch will start Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 from the 17th position after turning in a qualifying lap of 31.155 seconds (173.327 mph) in this afternoon’s time trial session here at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway.

“It's been a really up-and-down day for our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team,” Busch said after making his run against the clock.  “We've been tight.  We've been loose.  We spent most of the first practice in qualifying trim and just haven't been able to find that happy medium that the car likes.

"On my qualifying run, the front end just wouldn't settle like it needed to,” Busch added.  “We scrubbed off too much speed.  Tomorrow is a new day.  We've got two more cracks at practice to try and dial the car in for Sunday."

Greg Biffle claimed the Coors Light Pole Award here this afternoon with his fast lap of 30.877 seconds (174.887 mph).  Carl Edwards claimed the outside pole with a lap of 30.933 seconds (174.571 mph).  Kyle Busch (30.955 seconds/174.447 mph) was third, with Matt Kenseth (30.957/174.436), Kasey Kahne (30.961/174.413), Paul Menard (30.978/174.317), Denny Hamlin (30.995/174.222), Martin Truex Jr. (31.012/174.126), Mark Martin (31.018/174.092) and Jeff Gordon (31.026/174.048) rounding out the top-10 qualifiers.

The remaining Chase drivers’ efforts today will see Ryan Newman starting 11th here on Sunday, with Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski 12th (lap of 31.031 seconds/174.020 mph in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge), Kevin Harvick 14th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 18th, Jimmie Johnson 19th and Tony Stewart 22nd.
“Yeah, we won the pole here in the June race, so we came in here hoping to win another,” said crew chief Steve Addington.  “But the most important thing is how we perform on Sunday.  The good thing is that we have two big practice sessions here tomorrow and plenty of time to get race-ready.  We have our teammates, the ‘blue deuce’ team parked right next door in the garage.  I feel confident that we’ll get it all sorted out here tomorrow and both Penske teams will be tough here on Sunday.”

Saturday’s schedule here at Kansas Speedway calls for morning practice from 11:30 a.m. till 12:15 p.m. and the final “Happy Hour” practice session from 12:50 p.m. till 1:50 p.m.  Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (267 Laps, 400.5 miles) has a scheduled 1:00 p.m. CDT (2:00 p.m. EDT) starting time and features live coverage by ESPN-TV and MRN Radio.