FORT WORTH, Tex.–There was no beating the Busches Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.
The 42nd of 45 drivers to make a qualifying run in time trials for Saturday night’s NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Kyle Busch took advantage of the late draw and stole the pole from brother Kurt Busch by .086 seconds.
Kyle toured the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway in a track-record 27.509 seconds (196.299 mph) in winning his second Coors Light pole award of the season, his first at Texas and the 12th of his career
Kurt, the 37th driver to make a qualifying attempt, ran 195.688 mph in securing the starting spot beside his brother on the outside of the front row.
“We used the whole toolbox today,” said Kyle, whose team had improved his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota throughout two practice sessions on Friday. “I can’t say enough about everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, all the guys and gals at the shop that work so hard and give us some great equipment to come to the race track with.
“I appreciate that (crew chief) Dave (Rogers) and these guys dug in hard and worked hard to give us a good piece for qualifying, and I feel like we’ve got a good piece for the race (Saturday) night, too.”
Aric Almirola (195.009 mph) qualified third, followed by his Richard Petty Motorsports teammate, Marcos Ambrose (194.946 mph). Martin Truex Jr. (194.770 mph) nailed down the fifth starting spot for the seventh Cup race of the season.
It was a bittersweet performance for Kurt Busch, who was elated by the improvement of his No. 78 Furniture Row team but disappointed at not winning the pole.
“Because it was Kyle, I wouldn’t want to lose it anybody but him, but I’m bitter because I did lose it to him,” said Kurt, who was consistently fast in both Thursday test sessions and both Friday practices.
Series leader Jimmie Johnson, the only two-time Cup winner so far this season, will start seventh after a lap at 194.503 mph. Brad Keselowski, the defending series champion and second in the standings, qualified 16th. Dale Earnhardt Jr., third in points, will take the green flag from the sixth spot.
Danica Patrick will start 42nd. Scott Speed and Scott Riggs failed to make the 43-car field.