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NASCAR Cup: Kyle Busch on pole at ISM Raceway

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 09: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, poses with the pole award after qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway on November 09, 2019 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

With a 25.693-second/140.116 mph lap in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Saturday at ISM (formerly Phoenix International) Raceway, Kyle Busch claimed his first pole of the 2019 season to start first Sunday in the Bluegreen Vacations 500, the penultimate race of the 2019 season. The pole is his fourth-career pole at ISM Raceway.

“It’s, obviously, a really good starting spot for us, and track position is a big deal here,” Busch said. “Obviously, it gives us number one pit selection as well, so lots of things that can certainly help us to fire off here to start. Those guys behind us, we know are going to be awfully hungry as well. We just have to see how the race plays out. It puts us in the best possible spot to start off, and we’ve got 312 laps to figure it out.”

Seven of the eight remaining playoff drivers claimed the top-seven positions on the starting grid. The only playoff driver to start outside the first four rows will be Ryan Blaney, who qualified 10th.

Joey Logano was the last of the 39 drivers entered for Sunday’s race to make a qualifying attempt, and he wound up second to break up a Joe Gibbs Racing top-three, knocking Busch’s JGR teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. each down a notch to third and fourth.

“It will be a good starting spot, for sure,” Truex said. “I felt okay about our car yesterday (in practice). Thought we made some gains on it and made some more changes on it last night. We’ll see what we can come up with. Looking forward to it.”

All four JGR drivers qualified inside the top-10, with Erik Jones qualifying ninth.

Before the JGR trio of Busch, Hamlin and Truex claimed starting spots at or near the front, Stewart-Haas Racing drivers were bunched atop the speed chart. SHR driver Clint Bowyer went out 16th and claimed the provisional pole. His teammate, Daniel Suarez, went out four cars later to claim the provisional second position. After Truex crashed the SHR party with the provisional pole spot, he was followed by the Stewart-Haas quartet of drivers, also including Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola, until Truex’s JGR teammates made their qualifying attempts.

By the end of the qualifying session, Harvick was seventh, Almirola 11th, Bowyer 13th and Suarez 15th.

Other top-10 qualifiers included Kyle Larson in sixth and Kurt Busch in eighth.

Below, is the complete starting grid for Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway:

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Posted by on November 9, 2019. 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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