Top seeding puts Kyle Busch on Chicagoland pole due to rainout

Kyle Busch prepares for practice at Chicagoland Friday. (Getty Images)
Kyle Busch prepares for practice at Chicagoland Friday. (Getty Images)
Kyle Busch prepares for practice at Chicagoland Friday. (Getty Images)

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.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 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 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.