Kyle Busch will start the 22nd Camping World 301, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, in the top spot after winning the Coors Pole Qualifying Award Friday for Sunday NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race. Busch broke the old qualifying track record of 136.497 mph or 27.904 seconds set by Ryan Newman in September 2013, with his record lap of 138.130 mph or 27.574 seconds, driving the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota.
This is Busch’s second pole of the 2014 season with the first coming at Martinsville Speedway and the second for this weekend at New Hampshire. Busch has 15 pole awards in 348 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. This is the 13th track qualifying record out of the first 19 races to be set in 2014.
“I gave it everything I had,” Busch said of his qualifying run. “I thought I was a little too tight, but I guess I was driving through it enough that it was still carrying some good speed. I got the throttle down on both ends. The lap felt good. It didn’t feel that good, but it felt good, but I was thinking it was going to be a solid top four.”
Lining up next to Busch in second will be the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson with a speed of 137.790 mph, was 0.34 seconds off Busch’s speed. Johnson had the pole until Busch took to the track and knocked the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet off.
“I thought I had enough, and then I saw Kyle’s (Busch) lap,” Johnson said. “He definitely put one down.”
The top-10 drivers to start for Sunday’s Camping World 301 are as follows; Ky. Busch, Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne.
Both Busch and Johnson have victories at the New England track, Busch has one win in 2006 but finished second in both of the New Hampshire races last season. Johnson won both of the 2003 races and his third victory in 2010.
Qualifying was set by a two-round event at the 1.058 mile track, drivers who did not advance to the final round were; Carl Edwards starting 14th, Kurt Busch starting 18th, Austin Dillon starting 23rd, Ryan Newman starting 24th, Greg Biffle starting 27th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. starting 28th, Danica Patrick starting 29th, and last weekend’s race winner Aric Almirola will start 19th.
The Camping World RV Sales 301 will air on TNT with coverage beginning at noon for Countdown to Green followed by the race at 1 p.m. ET