MARTINSVILLE, Virginia (AP) — Kyle Busch became the sixth driver to win a pole in the first six races this season in NASCAR’s top series.
Busch turned a fast lap at 99.674 mph on Friday in qualifying at Martinsville Speedway. It’s his 14th career Sprint Cup pole, and first in 19 tries at Martinsville.
“I think that’s a great thing for us,” Busch said after winning the pole with a lap at 99.674 mph. “We get to pit there and of course drop the jack and just lunge across the line and be good.
“You need to still run up front all day. I think that it’s a great opportunity for us to pick up some spots say if we’re second, third, fourth, whatever, but you definitely always want to stay as close to the front as you can and try not to use that box as much as some guys have in the past.”
The pole is the 14th of Busch’s career and follows a victory last week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
In an interesting twist under NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, Busch won the pole while Joey Logano broke the track record. That came at 100.201 mph during the first phase of qualifying.
Denny Hamlin earned the No. 2 starting spot with a lap at 99.548 mph, and will be followed on the starting grid by Logano and Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
Danica Patrick qualified 10th, her best starting spot in a race not held at Daytona.