Kyle Busch has won five of the last seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races held at Phoenix International Raceway. His top starting spot for tonight’s Ticket Galaxy 200 has him in prime position to claim another.
Busch posted a fast lap of 136.132 mph in the third round of Coors Light Pole Qualifying to claim the pole for NASCAR’s second series.
Busch’s lap bested that of teammate Erik Jones by 0.196 mph. Jones was the highest qualified Chase driver for the final race in the second round of the inaugural Xfinity Series chase.
While Busch chases his potential 10th win of the season, eight drivers will be vying to be one of the four championship contenders next week. The 2016 champion will be crowned after next Saturday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Seven of the eight Chase drivers advanced to the final round. In addition to Jones, Chasers Ryan Reed, Blake Koch and Darrell Wallace, Jr., completed the top 5. Daniel Suarez qualified sixth, with JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler following in ninth and 10th, respectively.
The biggest surprise of the opening round of qualifying came when Chase hopeful Brendan Gaughan failed to advance to round two. Gaughan waited too long to try and make a second run, leaving the Nevadan helpless as his initial lap was bumped in the final minute by Justin Marks from the top 24. Gaughan will start 25th in the race.
44 cars attempted to qualify for the 40 car field. Four drivers failed to make the show: David Starr, Morgan Shepherd, Ryan Ellis and Dexter Stacy.
The Ticket Galaxy 200 airs live Saturday night on NBCSN at 7:30 pm ET.