Ky. Busch tops in qualifying for all-star race
Concord, NC (Sports Network) - Kyle Busch will start on the pole for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race after posting the quickest time in qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch completed his three laps around the 1.5-mile oval and performed his mandatory pit stop during his qualifying attempt in 1 minute, 59.112 seconds. The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was the last driver in the 20-car field to make his run since he was quickest in Friday's practice session.
"It's certainly a really good starting spot for us," Busch said. "We love coming out here and having this kind of format where the team is involved and the pit stop. We laid down a good lap I felt like, trying to get the most out of the car.
"We were trying to get the most out of coming down pit road. The guys did a great job taking on four tires and fuel there. Overall, it was a real good day, so we're looking forward to being able to carry on for tomorrow."
Busch started on the pole and finished second to Carl Edwards in last year's all-star race at Charlotte.
Ryan Newman's time of 1:59.821 earned him the outside pole. Busch's teammate, Denny Hamlin, qualified third, followed by Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick.
Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Regan Smith completed the top-10. Edwards will start 13th.
Kasey Kahne will have to start from the rear of the field in a backup car after wrecking his primary vehicle during his qualifying run. Kahne lost control of his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and then made contact with the wall.
"My first lap when I went out to take the green, I slid around getting into turn three coming to the green, and that is basically what I did again there, but I just forced it a little more, because I felt like that was gone," Kahne said. "It's just a bad job by myself."
In qualifying for The Sprint Showdown -- the 40-lap preliminary event for the all-star race -- A.J. Allmendinger topped the speed charts at 192.495 mph.
"Position is going to be everything," Allmendinger said. "It's going to be a tough race, but so far so good. I'm happy to put the car up front and have a good start at this thing."
Martin Truex Jr. qualified second, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Aric Almirola completed the top-five.
Twenty-two drivers will make up the starting field for The Sprint Showdown. The top-two finishers in that event will advance into the all-star race. The winner of the "fan vote" will complete the 23-car starting field for the main event.
This year's all-star event features a new format. It will be split into five segments for a total of 90 laps. The first four segments will consist of 20 laps each, and the final one is a 10-lap shootout to the finish. The winner collects at least $1 million.
The Sprint Showdown is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. (ET), and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is slated to begin at approximately 9 p.m.
05/18 21:29:03 ET