JOLIET, Ill. – When rain forced cancellation of Friday’s knockout qualifying session for Sunday’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), Kyle Busch was the primary beneficiary.
As the top seed in Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and with his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota seeded first in the corresponding owners’ standings, Busch will start on the pole at the 1.5-mile track for the first of the 10 playoff races that will decide the 2016 champion.
Busch also will get first pick of pit stalls, with the corresponding advantage of choosing the stall nearest the exit from pit road.
Brad Keselowski, who like Busch recorded a series-best four victories during the 26-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season, will start on the outside of the front row, as the 16 Chase drivers take the green flag from the top 16 positions, according to respective seeding.
A three-time winner thanks to last Saturday’s victory at Richmond, Denny Hamlin will start third beside Kevin Harvick, the highest-seeded driver with two wins.
Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. will take the green from fifth and sixth, respectively, with Matt Kenseth in seventh, as Toyota drivers occupy five of the top seven starting positions. Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Jamie McMurray are eighth through 16th on the grid, respectively.
The full lineup can be found here.