Kyle Busch on the Pole for Sunday’s Race at Phoenix

by Tucker White On Fri, Mar. 11, 2016

Kyle Busch scored the pole for Sunday's Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

Kyle Busch will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday in the Valley of the Sun.

The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota scored the pole for the Good Sam 500 with a time of 26.014 and a speed of 138.387 mph. This is the 18th career pole and third at Phoenix International Raceway for the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion.

“We just cooled everything back down to make sure we gave it everything we got,” Busch said. “We just made a couple of fine-tuning adjustments from what we ran before and it was a tick faster, not much, just a tick.”

Carl Edwards will start second in his No. 19 JGR Toyota after posting a time of 26.179 and a speed of 137.515 mph. Denny Hamlin will join his two teammates in third in his No. 11 JGR Toyota after posting a time of 26.196 and a speed of 137.426 mph. Kurt Busch will start fourth in his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet after posting a time of 26.202 and a speed of 137.394 mph.

Jimmie Johnson was to round out the top-five in his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet after posting a time of 26.244 and a speed of 137.174 mph, but he’ll start from the rear of the field on Sunday after his car slammed the wall in Turn 2 as he was making his second lap with two minutes remaining in the final round of qualifying.

“Certainly a lot of straight in an area of the track that I didn’t need to have straight. We’ll have to get to the bottom of it,” Johnson said. “Just a really hard impact to the outside wall. Thankful that we have SAFER barriers and soft walls. But very disappointed because we had such a fast race car.”

After qualifying, Johnson took to Twitter to explain what happened.

Jimmie Johnson after wrecking during qualifying at Phoenix2








Matt Kenseth will start sixth in his No. 20 JGR Toyota followed by Kyle Larson in seventh in his

No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Martin Truex Jr. will start eighth in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota and Joey Logano starts ninth in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will round out the top-10 in his No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.

Jamie McMurray will start 11th in his No. 1 CGR Chevrolet while Ryan Blaney will round out the 12 drivers that made the final round of qualifying.

Kevin Harvick, the odds-on favorite to win this weekend, will start 18th in his No. 4 SHR Chevrolet.

Kasey Kahne posted the third-fastest time in the first round of qualifying, but he will start from the rear of the field on Sunday after changing engines. This is due to an issue with the EFI that caused his car to erupt in smoke. Kahne will join his teammate Johnson at the rear of the field Sunday.

Complete Starting Lineup: (As noted above, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne will start from the rear of the field in backup cars).

NSCS-Starting-Lineup-Phoenix March 2016


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