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NASCAR Cup: Kyle Busch wraps up Friday domination with Chicagoland pole

Kyle Busch celebrates his seventh pole of 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season on Sept. 15, 2017, at Chicagoland Speedway

Kyle Busch celebrates his seventh pole of 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season on Sept. 15, 2017, at Chicagoland Speedway

By AMANDA VINCENT

Kyle Busch claimed his seventh pole of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season on Friday with a 28.729-second/187.963 mph lap in the third of three rounds of qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., to claim the top starting spot for Sunday’s Nickelodeon Tales of the Turtles 400, the first race of the 10-race playoffs.

“Just great adjustments, there, because we were kind of free there the first couple of runs and were trying to get the balance, there, and the last run, our balance was way better and we were able to attack it and get the most out of it,” Busch said. That’s all she had. Certainly,  great job by all these guys on this Skittles Sweet Heat Camry.”

Busch was tops throughout the day Friday, posting the fastest lap in the day’s only practice session, and then, leading all three rounds of qualifying. He ran a 29.052-second/185.752 mph lap in the opening round of qualifying, and then, posted a 29.071-second/185.752 mph lap in the second round.

His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin, posted a final-round lap that was Busch’s laps in the first two rounds, but that lap was nearly two mph slower that Busch’s lap in the same final round. Hamlin wound up second to give JGR a sweep of the front row of the starting grid.

“It’s great for all of us; we’ll look at the data when we get back, but I’m assuming that amount of speed is driver stuff,” Hamlin said. “Our Toyotas are really fast again; thanks, Joe Gibbs Racing, for giving us good cars and Toyota for the great speed. It’s a great starting spot to start from, and hopefully, we’ll have a good Sunday.”

Toyota claimed the top-three starting spots with regular-season champion Martin Truex Jr. in third. Toyotas had the four fastest times in the day’s practice session.

“It was good,” Truex said. “The first round we were really loose, and I tried to take it a little easy on the tires. It looked like we were way off, but made some big adjustments for round two and got better and made some more big ones for round three and got even better, yet. Just needed a bit more. Missed it a tick today, but all in all, starting third is a good spot and we’ll go race them on Sunday.”

By the time round three rolled around, six of the 16 playoff drivers had already seen the end of their qualifying efforts. One of those six, Kasey Kahne, failed to advance beyond round two. As a result, he was the lowest-qualifying playoff driver in 25th. Other playoff drivers not getting to the third round in qualifying included Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.

Truex will share the second row of Sunday’s starting grid with Kevin Harvick, while Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson will start in row three.

Here’s a look at the complete starting grid for Sunday’s Nickelodeon Tale of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway:
Row 1 — Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 2 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Ford)
Row 3 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 4 — Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 5 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota)
Row 6 — Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Ford), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 7 — Daniel Suarez (No. 19 Toyota), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet)
Row 8 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet)
Row 9 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Ford), Chris Buescher (No. 37 Chevrolet)
Row 10 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet)
Row 11 — Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Ford)
Row 12 — Ty Dillon (No. 13 Chevrolet), Erik Jones (No. 77 Toyota)
Row 13 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford)
Row 14 — Landon Cassill (No. 34 Ford), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 15 — A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet), Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — David Ragan (No. 38 Ford), Matt DiBenedetto (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Corey LaJoie (No. 23 Toyota), Reed Sorenson (No. 15 Chevrolet)
Row 18 — Cole Whitt (No. 72 Chevrolet), Gray Gaulding (No. 55 Toyota)
Row 19 — Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 33 Chevrolet), Timmy Hill (No. 66 Chevrolet)
Row 20 — Ray Black Jr. (No. 51 Chevrolet), Brett Moffitt (No. 83 Toyota)

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on September 16, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,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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