In one of the most unique qualifying formats in NASCAR, the 18 teams in the Sprint All-Star Race completed three laps and one four tire pit stop to set the field for Saturday night’s race. The eighteenth and final team to post a time was the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team with Kyle Busch behind the wheel, and they posted one heck of a time.
Edging out Clint Bowyer and his No. 33 Richard Childress Racing team by 0.475 seconds, Busch earned his second career pole in the Sprint All-Star Race.
“We all love this kind of format and enjoy it,” Busch said. “To come out here and have a good car off the truck that Dave (Rogers, crew chief), Chris (Gayle, engineer) and the guys brought for me makes my job easier and makes Dave’s job a little bit less stressful today.”
“That Kyle Busch is a pain in everybody’s butt isn’t he?” Bowyer said.
For Busch, though it was the pit crew that ultimately made the difference.
“My pit crew, it seems we talk about them every week and they deserve it,” Busch said. “Today, just being able to put a really fast lap down, come to pit road fast – and fortunately clean – and then have my guys give me a great pit stop and come back around. Really, really fast car and pretty uneventful lap for me, but a lot going on, which all put together was fastest today.”
“That is a fun, fun qualifying effort,” Bowyer said. “I’ve got to tell it’s nerve-racking on everybody’s part. You have to hit your marks right, you do everything you normally do, but it’s such a different format that coming off pit road you’re thinking, ‘hit your marks and don’t stop too soon.’ Just a fun, fun atmosphere to be involved in.”
Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Mark Martin rounded out the top five, followed by Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Regan Smith and David Reutimann.
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