Kyle Busch grabs New Hampshire pole with new track record


The Sports Network

Loudon, NH ( - Kyle Busch will start on the pole for the Camping World RV Sales 301 after setting a new track record and beating Jimmie Johnson in Friday's qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Johnson held the provisional pole with a lap at 137.790 mph until Busch made a lap at 138.130 mph to earn the top starting position for Sunday's 301-lap race at this flat 1.058-mile track.

Busch claimed his second pole of the season and the 15th of his Sprint Cup Series career. It was also his second pole at New Hampshire. Busch finished second in both Sprint Cup race here last year.

"I gave it everything I had," Busch said. "I thought I was a little too tight, but I guess I was driving through it enough that I still got some good speed and got the throttle down on both ends. Lap felt good, and I thought it was going to be a solid top-four."

The top-11 finishers in qualifying surpassed the previous track record of 136.497 mph, set by Ryan Newman last September. It's the 13th time a new track qualifying record has been set in the series in 2014.

Johnson will lineup with Busch on the front row.

"It's so tough to get a good lap around here," Johnson said. "We want to get the pole, want to be faster, but Kyle found a little bit more out there than us."

Denny Hamlin qualified third, followed by Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray and Joey Logano.

Finishing seventh through 12th were: Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, the current points leader, and Kevin Harvick.

Among those drivers who did not advance into the second and final round in qualifying were: rookie Kyle Larson (qualified 13th), Carl Edwards (14th), Matt Kenseth (15th), Paul Menard (16th), Brian Vickers (17th), Kurt Busch (18th), Aric Almirola (19th), rookie Austin Dillon (23rd), Newman (24th), Greg Biffle (27th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (28th) and Danica Patrick (29th).

Last year at New Hampshire, Vickers won the July race and Kenseth took the checkered flag for the September event. Almirola scored his first victory in the series in last Sunday's rain-shortened race at Daytona.

All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field.

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