Kyle Busch wins pole at Phoenix as Hendrick teams struggle

Kyle Busch celebrates after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 11, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.
Kyle Busch celebrates after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 11, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.
Kyle Busch celebrates after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 11, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.

Kyle Busch led a Joe Gibbs Racing qualifying parade at Phoenix International Raceway Friday. Busch was able to win his third pole at Phoenix and the 18th of his career with a lap of 26.014, 138.387 mph late in the final session.  Unlike the second race of the season at Atlanta where he won the pole only to see it stripped after failing inspection, there were no issues for the reigning Sprint Cup champion Friday night as he earned his first official pole since Pocono Raceway last August.

“It was a good day,” Busch said “Unloading off the truck everything seemed to go real well. I wasn’t sure about our speed in race trim but then hopped over to qualifying trim and for as not as good of a feel that the car was we had some good speed so that was definitely a plus. Being able to have some good laps there and qualify this afternoon and being able to run a really good lap there in the last session.”

His JGR teammate Carl Edwards will start second, followed by JGR racer Denny Hamlin in third. The fourth Joe Gibbs entry for Matt Kenseth will start sixth Sunday.

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About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.