Weather awards Kyle Busch Cup pole at Dover

DOVER, DELAWARE - APRIL 29: Kyle Busch, driver of the #8 Lenovo Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400 at Dover International Speedway on April 29, 2023 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Poor weather in the area forced the cancellation of NASCAR Cup Series qualifying Saturday morning at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway. The series implemented a competitive metric to set the grid for Sunday’s Wurth 400 (1 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with the pole position going to last week’s Talladega (Ala.) race winner, Richard Childress Racing driver, Kyle Busch.

The two-time series champion Busch – a three-time Dover race winner – will start his No. 8 RCR Chevrolet on the front row alongside the series’ current championship leader, Christopher Bell, in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

“I’ll take it – starting up front, track position race, number one pit box – that’s super good to have here at Dover,’’ said Busch, whose Chevy was only 29th fastest in Saturday’s practice.

Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Penske Racing) and Brad Keselowski (No. 6 Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing) will start their Ford Mustangs on the second row, followed by the Fords of Chris Buescher (No. 17 RFK Racing) and Chase Briscoe (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing). Of note, Keselowski was the fastest in practice.

Tyler Reddick (No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota) and two-time 2023 winner William Byron (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) will start from the fourth row along with this year’s Daytona 500 winner, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet), and defending Dover race winner Chase Elliott (No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) rounding out the Top-10.

The starting lineup was set using a combination of metrics including the championship standings, a driver’s finish in the last race (Talladega) and the fastest lap recorded in the last race.

That meant the cancellation of qualifying was especially tough news for Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson, who had been second fastest in his No. 5 Hendrick Chevrolet during opening practice but will now start 20th after a tough finish and last lap accident at Talladega.

“My car obviously has speed so I’m happy about that,’’ said Larson, who was second fastest in practice and has two wins already this season.

“I’d have loved to have the mist go away and us qualify to start a little better and have better pit selection, but either way I think our car is good enough to come from wherever in the field. Our pit crew has been doing a great job this year so wherever we start, we’ll be fine.”