NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kyle Busch Wins 53rd XFINITY Pole at NHMS

Kyle Busch will be the first to the flag for Saturday’s AutoLotto 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as he wins the pole for the 53rd time in his XFINITY Series career.

“We’ve got a good piece, I just have to do my job now,” Busch said. “This place is hard to figure out. It’s flat and not very forgiving at times, so you have to have the confidence in the car to be able to run hard here.”

Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones, at a time of 29.113 seconds – only 0.012 behind Busch – grabs his 11th front-row start and 17th consecutive top-5 start in 2016.

“[The car] was so raceable there in qualifying,” Jones said. “We couldn’t get a little more out of it there to get the pole but I think we’re a lot closer to Kyle than we were yesterday.”

With the third JGR driver in Daniel Suarez lining up fourth, Brad Keselowski split the trio to slide into third spot at a time of 29.336 seconds.

“We got on both sides of it being loose and tight,” Keselowski said. “Decent run. Need a little more. We’re a little closer this weekend, so that’s a good thing.”

Alex Bowman, who performs double duty while running the Sprint Cup race in the No. 88 Chevrolet on Sunday, completes the top 5. Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Justin Allgaier, Brennan Poole and Ty Dillon round out the top-10 starters.

Blake Koch advanced to Round 3 for the seventh time in 2016 before lining up 11th while Ryan Preece marked his best qualifying effort in his Johnny Davis No. 01, starting 12th.

“You really don’t know what it means to us,” a joyous Preece said after Round 2. “This is like winning the race right now. It’s a really good start.  IT’s great to have a good starting point.”

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