Kyle Busch wins pole at Phoenix, new track record

At this time one year ago, Kyle Busch was in an uncomfortable position.

It was his first weekend back after being parked at Texas Motor Speedway for intentionally crashing Ron Hornaday Jr. in the Camping World Truck Series race. To add to that, Busch qualified for last year’s race at Phoenix International Raceway in 36th.

In the race, Busch was able to drive up into the lead. Shorty after though, his engine blew, making things that much more frustrating for the Las Vegas native.

Some of those difficulties have carried over to 2012 for Busch, failing to make the Chase and only having one win in 2012, the season has been sort of a wash for Busch.

However, in the past few races, things have picked up for Busch, scoring a third place finish last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

The momentum carried over from the Texas race to practice, where Busch topped the charts in the only Sprint Cup practice held on Friday, giving him the benefit of optimal track conditions for his qualifying lap later that evening.

When it came time for Busch to qualify, the track was covered in the setting desert sun, which Busch used to his advantage as he broke the old track record and won the pole for Sunday’s AdvoCare 500.

“Dave (Rogers, crew chief) made some really good adjustments from practice until now and the car drove exactly like it needed to,” said Busch.

“Did it on the first one, but I thought I gave up a little in (turns) three and four so I wanted to try for a second one and see if I could get anymore speed out of it. But, we’ll take it. It’ll be a good starting spot for us.”

By turning a lap around the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway at 138.766 mph, Busch won his second Coors Light Pole Award of the 2012 season and his second at the track.

“Can’t wait for tomorrow. Hopefully we get this thing dialed up for race trim and have a good day on Sunday.”

While Busch finds himself on the pole after a strong qualifying effort, the same can’t be said for championship contenders Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson

Both Keselowski and Johnson struggled in qualifying, starting 14th and 24th respectively.

AdvoCare 500 Starting Lineup 

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Kasey Kahne
  5. Aric Almirola
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Paul Menard
  8. Regan Smith
  9. Tony Stewart
  10. Mark Martin
  11. Jeff Gordon
  12. Ryan Newman
  13. Carl Edwards
  14. Brad Keselowski
  15. Joey Logano
  16. Clint Bowyer
  17. Marcos Ambrose
  18. Jamie McMurray
  19. Kevin Harvick
  20. Greg Biffle
  21. Juan Pablo Montoya
  22. Matt Kenseth
  23. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  24. Jimmie Johnson
  25. Casey Mears
  26. Sam Hornish Jr.
  27. Landon Cassill
  28. Michael McDowell
  29. David Ragan
  30. Bobby Labonte
  31. David Gilliland
  32. David Stremme
  33. Jeff Burton
  34. David Reutimann
  35. Stephen Leicht
  36. Mike Bliss
  37. Danica Patrick
  38. Josh Wise
  39. Travis Kvapil
  40. Jason Leffler
  41. Timmy Hill
  42. Dave Blaney
  43. Joe Nemechek