Avondale, AZ (Sports Network) - Kyle Busch will start on the pole in the
AdvoCare 500, while points leader Jimmie Johnson struggled in qualifying with
a 24th-place finish on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.
Busch, who was fastest in practice earlier in the day and therefore the last
driver to make a qualifying run in the 44-car field, set a new track
qualifying record at Phoenix with a lap at 138.766 mph. Carl Edwards held the
previous record at this flat one-mile racetrack with a lap at 137.279 mph,
which he set in Feb. 2011.
It's the second pole for Busch this season and the 10th of his Sprint Cup
Series career. He also won the pole at Phoenix in April 2006.
Martin Truex Jr. held the provisional pole late in qualifying with a lap
138.217 mph. Busch topped Truex by 0.103 seconds.
Denny Hamlin, who won at Phoenix in February, qualified third, while Kasey
Kahne, the defending race winner, took the fourth spot. Aric Almirola
completed the top-five.
Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin qualified
sixth through 10th, respectively.
Johnson holds a seven-point lead over Brad Keselowski with just two races to
go in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Johnson has won the last two
Chase events -- Martinsville and Texas. He won the pole position and led the
most laps in the previous two races as well.
Keselowski qualified 14th.
J.J. Yeley, a Phoenix-native, was the only driver who failed to qualify for
Sunday's 312-lap race, which is scheduled to start just after 3 p.m. (ET).
The Sports Network