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NASCAR Cup: Kurt Busch leads Stewart-Haas Racing dominance of Talladega qualifying

during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 13, 2018 in Talladega, Alabama.


Kyle Busch claimed his fifth Monster Energy pole of 2018 on Saturday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway when he posted a 48.906-second/195.804 mph lap in the second of two rounds of single-car qualifying for Sunday’s 500. Although Busch is a NASCAR veteran with 27-career poles, Saturday’s pole is the first of his career at a restrictor-plate track.

“We’re on the pole. This is my first restrictor-plate pole ever. EV-ER,” Busch said. “It’s taken me 20 years but I got one.”

Stewart-Haas Racing swept the front two rows of the starting grid, with Clint Bowyer joining his teammate on the front row and a couple more teammates, Kevin Harvick and Almirola in row two.

“Doug Yates and those guys built so much quality power and you see it in four Stewart-Haas Fords,” Busch said. “I’m really happy I got the fast one.”

Lining up being the SHR quartet on Sunday will be another group of four teammates from Hendrick Motorsports, with Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman and William Byron qualifying fifth through eighth, respectively.

‘These Hendrick Motorsports guys bring great superspeedway cars to the track,” Bowman said.  “I think it just shows how close everybody is at Hendrick Motorsports, how we all work together and how close the teams work together. The cars all get prepared together, so it’s cool to have them all right in a line.  Obviously, wish it was a couple spots better. It would have been cool to be first through fourth, but we will take that and head into the race tomorrow.”

The top-eight spots on the starting grid nearly mirrored the top-eight on the first-round speed chart. The four Stewart-Haas drivers were followed by the four Hendrick drivers, the only difference being a swap in positions between Bowman and Johnson.

Busch led the first round with a 49.051-second/195.225 mph lap.

Teammates are a theme throughout the starting grid. Team Penske, which has dominated racing at Talladega in recent years, saw its three drivers — Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano — qualified 18th through 20th.

Below, is the complete starting grid for the 500 at Talladega Superspeedway:
Row 1 — Kurt Busch [No. 41 Ford], Clint Bowyer [No. 41 Ford]
Row 2 — Kevin Harvick [No. 4 Ford], Aric Almirola [No. 10 Ford]
Row 3 — Chase Elliott [No. 9 Chevrolet], Jimmie Johnson [No. 48 Chevrolet]
Row 4 — Alex Bowman [No. 88 Chevrolet], William Byron [No. 24 Chevrolet]
Row 5 — Kyle Busch [No. 18 Toyota], Denny Hamlin [No. 11 Toyota]
Row 6 — Martin Truex Jr. [No. 78 Toyota], Ricky Stenhouse Jr. [No. 17 Ford]
Row 7 — Daniel Suarez [No. 19 Toyota], Michael McDowell [No. 34 Ford]
Row 8 — Erik Jones [No. 20 Toyota], David Ragan [No. 38 Ford]
Row 9 — Darrell Wallace Jr. [No. 43 Chevrolet], Brad Keselowski [No. 2 Ford]
Row 10 — Ryan Blaney [No. 12 Ford], Joey Logano [No. 22 Ford]
Row 11 — Austin Dillon [No. 3 Chevrolet], Ryan Newman [No. 31 Chevrolet]
Row 12 — A.J. Allmendinger [No. 47 Chevrolet], Trevor Bayne [No. 6 Ford]
Row 13 — Regan Smith [No. 95 Chevrolet], Chris Buescher [No. 37 Chevrolet]
Row 14 — Matt DiBenedetto [No. 32 Ford], Brendan Gaughan [No. 62 Chevrolet]
Row 15 — Ty Dillon [No. 13 Chevrolet], Paul Menard [No. 21 Ford]
Row 16 — Jamie McMurray [No. 1 Chevrolet], J.J. Yeley [No. 23 Ford]
Row 17 — D.J. Kennington [No. 7 Chevrolet], Kyle Larson [No. 42 Chevrolet]
Row 18 — Jeffrey Earnhardt [No. 96 Toyota], Ross Chastain [No. 15 Chevrolet]
Row 19 — Joey Gase [No. 00 Chevrolet], Landon Cassill [No. 99 Chevrolet]
Row 20 — Corey LaJoie [No. 72 Chevrolet], Cody Ware [No. 51 Ford]

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Posted by on October 14, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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