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NASCAR Cup: Kyle Busch on pole at New Hampshire

Kyle Busch celebrates his third pole of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 22, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Kyle Busch celebrates his third pole of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 22, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Kyle Busch claimed his second-consecutive and eighth pole, overall, of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season on Friday with a 28.203-second/135.049 mph lap in the third of three rounds of qualifying Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon for Sunday’s ISM Connect 300. It all was his third-career pole at NHMS.

“Same as it is every other time – you’ve got to have a fast car, so, you know, certainly feels pretty good to capitalize on another good Friday, and we just need to somehow figure out how to turns these things into good Sundays, you know? Being able to start up front, it’d be nice to stay up front all day and limit our mistakes and not have any of those and be able to carry on and go to victory lane on Sunday,” Busch said. “So this is a good place for us, and the weather is going to be warmer – more like a July race – and we run better here in July than we typically do in September, so hopefully, that will bode a little bit for us in the 18 car this weekend.”

Busch will share the front row with Kyle Larson for Sunday’s race.

“I felt like maybe I got in the corner a little hot with my Target Chevy and got myself a little bit too loose and to the brakes too hard,” Larson said.  “But I feel like overall my lap was pretty good. The No. 18 (Busch) has been really fast recently, and especially in qualifying all year. So for us to be second to him is not bad. We had the pole here earlier in the year and got encumbered, but we had to back it up with a front row start. It feels good. We’ll have a nice pit stall selection. Hopefully, we can have another smooth day.”

Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney qualified third and fourth for second-row starting spots.

Busch’s pole-winning lap was the only 135+ mph lap of the three-round qualifying session. He also was fastest in the opening round with a 28.309-second/134.544 mph lap. Blaney led the way in round two with a 28.265-secon/134.753 mph lap.

Erik Jones was the only non-playoff driver to advance to the final round of 12 in qualifying and wound up with the eighth starting spot. The 11 playoff drivers getting to the final round including Jimmie Johnson, who qualified 12th in a backup car after hitting the wall hard in the first practice session.

Another playoff driver and one of Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Chase Elliott, also was in a backup car after hitting the wall in a separate practice incident. Elliott advanced to round two and qualified 14th. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the lowest-qualifier among the 16 playoff participants in 24th.

Joey Loagano, who fell one position shy of a playoff spot with a runner-up finish a couple weeks ago at Richmond (Va.) Raceway will start last Sunday as a result of not making a qualifying run. He failed to get on track as a result of an issue getting through pre-qualifying inspection Friday.

Here’s a look at the complete starting grid for Sunday’s ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
Row 1 — Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 2 — Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 3 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Ford)
Row 4 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Ford), Erik Jones (No. 77 Toyota)
Row 5 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota)
Row 6 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 8 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet), Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Ford)
Row 9 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet)
Row 10 — Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet), A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet)
Row 11 — David Ragan (No. 38 Ford), Chris Buescher (No. 37 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford)
Row 13 — Daniel Suarez (No. 19 Toyota), Matt DiBenedetto (No. 32 Ford)
Row 14 — Danica Patrick (No. 10 Ford), Landon Cassill (No. 34 Ford)
Row 15 — Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford), Ty Dillon (No. 13 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Michael McDowell (No. 95 Ford), Cole Whitt (No. 72 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Corey LaJoie (No. 23 Toyota), Gray Gaulding (No. 55 Toyota)
Row 18 — Reed Sorenson (No. 15 Chevrolet), Brett Moffitt (No. 83 Toyota)
Row 19 — Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 33 Chevrolet), Cody Ware (No. 51 Chevrolet)
Row 20 — Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)

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 23, 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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