Kyle Busch takes Phoenix pole

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 12th March, 2016 - 1:07pm

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Kyle Busch celebrates his first official pole of the 2016 season

Kyle Busch celebrates his first official pole of the 2016 season

For the third-straight week a Busch will start from pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but this time it’s Kyle Busch.

After having his pole at Atlanta rubbed out two weeks ago on a technical infraction; Kyle Busch ended the streak of his brother Kurt with the fastest time in Phoenix. It’s his third career pole at the track.

In a good sign for Joe Gibbs Racing, the Toyota team took the top three starting spots with Carl Edwards sharing the front row followed by Denny and the elder Busch sibling.

Busch delighted with the pole and pleased to have his team-mates up front with him to underline the performance of the Gibbs cars.

“I think it’s a combination of everything,” said Kyle Busch.

“I think when you can gain (corner) entry speed, you can gain centre speed, you can gain exit speed, straightaway speed. It just kind of all comes together.”

Six-time champion Jimmie Johnson collected the wall in the closing seconds of the third round of qualifying, bringing out the second red flag of the session. Johnson had had qualified fifth, but is expected to go to a back-up car and start off the rear.

The Hendrick cars were in the wars with Kasey Kahne also bringing out a red flag in the opening round of qualifying when his Chevrolet started smoking. That came after Ty Dillon (substituting for the injured Tony Stewart) found the fence.

Interestingly defending race winner Kevin Harvick qualified 18th. The 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion has scored seven wins at Phoenix.

VIDEO: Kyle Busch on pole in Phoenix

QUALIFYING : Good Sam 500 – Phoenix International Raceway

POS. CAR # DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR MPH TIME GAP
1 18 Kyle Busch Skittles 138.387 26.014 Leader
2 19 Carl Edwards Stanley 137.515 26.179 –0.165
3 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight 137.426 26.196 –0.182
4 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy / Haas Automation 137.394 26.202 –0.188
5 48 Jimmie Johnson LOWE’S PRO SERVICES 137.174 26.244 –0.230
6 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General 137.174 26.244 –0.230
7 42 Kyle Larson Target 137.033 26.271 –0.257
8 78 Martin Truex Jr Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats 136.934 26.290 –0.276
9 22 Joey Logano Pennzoil 136.773 26.321 –0.307
10 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Fastenal Ford Fusion 136.752 26.325 –0.311
11 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald’s 136.555 26.363 –0.349
12 21 Ryan Blaney Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire + Auto Center 136.307 26.411 –0.397
13 16 Greg Biffle Cheez-It Ford Fusion 137.247 26.230 –0.216
14 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield 137.216 26.236 –0.222
15 3 Austin Dillon Dow 137.091 26.260 –0.246
16 27 Paul Menard Richmond/Menards 137.028 26.272 –0.258
17 24 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts 136.971 26.283 –0.269
18 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s 136.893 26.298 –0.284
19 2 Brad Keselowski Alliance Truck Parts 136.851 26.306 –0.292
20 31 Ryan Newman Grainger 136.576 26.359 –0.345
21 6 Trevor Bayne Advocare Ford Fusion 136.503 26.373 –0.359
22 47 AJ Allmendinger Fry’s / Scott Products 136.488 26.376 –0.362
23 83 Matt DiBenedetto Schluter Systems Toyota 136.395 26.394 –0.380
24 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips 137.190 26.241 –0.227
25 13 Casey Mears GEICO 135.537 26.561 –0.547
26 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Axalta 135.527 26.563 –0.549
27 38 Landon Cassill Snap Fitness 135.394 26.589 –0.575
28 14 Ty Dillon Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats 135.369 26.594 –0.580
29 23 David Ragan Dr. Pepper 135.206 26.626 –0.612
30 44 Brian Scott Albertsons Co / White Tail 134.917 26.683 –0.669
31 7 Regan Smith APC Chevrolet 134.514 26.763 –0.749
32 34 Chris Buescher Dockside Logistics 134.429 26.780 –0.766
33 95 Michael McDowell Thrivent Financial 134.068 26.852 –0.838
34 98 Cole Whitt TBA 133.670 26.932 –0.918
35 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy 133.072 27.053 –1.039
36 10 Danica Patrick Nature’s Bakery 132.895 27.089 –1.075
37 30 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing 132.797 27.109 –1.095
38 46 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J 132.768 27.115 –1.101
39 32 Joey Gase Donate Life America 132.543 27.161 –1.147