Kyle Busch will start the Food City 500 from pole position after setting a new qualifying record at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch, who set a time of 14.813 seconds, was the first of three drivers to break the existing record, held by Ryan Newman since 2003, and is the third Joe Gibbs Racing driver to start a Bristol race from the front spot.
“We managed to get the car to where it was pretty good in practice,” said Busch, scoring his 11th pole of his career and first at Bristol. “we thought we’d have a shot at pole but we’ve thought that many times before and we’ve come up 30th.”
“As far as the race goes I think we’ll definitely see the top lane come in, for sure.” he continued. “When or how fast I’m not sure about, but I think the Nationwide race will see it come in with guys working the middle or the high line. As rough as the bottom’s getting, because they ground the top they made it smoother, it might actually make it better than we all originally planned.”
Joining Busch on the front row will be the #5 Chevrolet of Kasey Kahne, ahead of Denny Hamlin, Brian Vickers and Paul Menard rounding out the top five. Reigning champion Brad Keselowski set the fastest time for a Ford and will start the race from seventh.
“The car felt really good,” said Kahne. “I knew Kyle had put in a great lap with a new track record so I knew I had to go pretty hard. It felt like I may have given up a little bit in [turns] 1 & 2 which would’ve made it really close for the pole.”
Seven drivers made it into the race through owner points with Travis Kvapil, Joe Nemechek, Bobby and Terry Labonte, Josh Wise, Landon Cassill and Danica Patrick all receiving provisionals. The only driver out of the 44 qualifiers not making it in to the race was Scott Riggs in the #44 Ford.