Kurt Busch Leads Seven Fords to the Top 10 in Michigan Qualifying

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BROOKLYN, MI – RIS – Kurt Busch won his second pole of the season at Michigan International Speedway.  Qualifying for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race, Busch set a blazing qualifying speed of 203.361 mph to capture the pole in the third round of qualifying. 

“This one is fun because I could trust the car and I knew I needed to go after it hard,” Busch said. “Watching all the Fords in practice, I knew we had a good shot at it. The guys tweaked on the tires the right amount. It’s a new compound, left and right side, and we didn’t want to get caught up too much in chasing the tires.

“We went with status quo. Now, we need to translate that to race speed. I enjoy qualifying here. It’s a pleasure to have one of these Fords and have Yates power under the hood.”

Busch will share the front row with Brad Keselowski.  Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano complete the top five. That’s four of the top five for the blue oval.

Kyle Larson, who will be seeking his fourth straight MIS win on Sunday, was off the pace in qualifying and will start 26th in the 39-car field.

Positions five through ten were won by Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Erik Jones, Ryan Newman, and Denny Hamlin.  The brand make up consisted of seven Fords—three from Stewart Haas Racing, three from Team Penske, and one from Roush Fenway Racing.  In addition, the No. 14 Ford of Clint Bowyer will start 12th.

Kevin Harvick won rounds one and two but fell short in round three and will start in the fourth position on Sunday.  No Chevrolet made it to the Top 10.  Fastest Chevrolet was 11th place Ryan Newman in a Richard Childress Chevrolet.

Toyota drivers Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, and Denny Hamlin also made the Top 10.

Starting Line Up by Row
Michigan International Speedway
50th Annual FireKeepers Casino 400

Driver Date Time Speed
Track Race Record: Dale Jarrett 06/13/99 02:17:56 173.997
Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
Row 1: 1 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford 35.405 203.361
2 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 35.439 203.166
Row 2: 3 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Red White & Blue Toyota 35.447 203.120
4 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Ford 35.476 202.954
Row 3: 5 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 35.614 202.168
6 10 Aric Almirola Mobil 1 Ford 35.713 201.607
Row 4: 7 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 35.774 201.263
8 20 Erik Jones DeWalt Toyota 35.796 201.140
Row 5: 9 12 Ryan Blaney DEX Imaging Ford 35.858 200.792
10 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 35.928 200.401
Row 6: 11 31 Ryan Newman Okuma Chevrolet 35.989 200.061
12 14 Clint Bowyer Haas 30 Years of the VF1 Ford 36.039 199.784
Row 7: 13 9 Chase Elliott Mountain Dew/Little Caesars Chevrolet 35.904 200.535
14 24 William Byron # Liberty University Chevrolet 35.912 200.490
Row 8: 15 21 Paul Menard Menards/Jack Links Ford 35.941 200.328
16 3 Austin Dillon Dow Salutes Veterans Chevrolet 35.942 200.323
Row 9: 17 78 Martin Truex Jr. Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota 35.959 200.228
18 37 Chris Buescher Scott Comfort Plus Chevrolet 35.985 200.083
Row 10: 19 6 Matt Kenseth Wyndham Rewards Ford 36.035 199.806
20 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet 36.039 199.784
Row 11: 21 88 Alex Bowman Nationwide Chevrolet 36.054 199.700
22 19 Daniel Suarez ARRIS Toyota 36.064 199.645
Row 12: 23 34 Michael McDowell Dockside Logistics Ford 36.116 199.358
24 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald's Chevrolet 36.126 199.302
Row 13: 25 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 36.172 199.049
26 42 Kyle Larson Credit One Bank Chevrolet 36.181 198.999
Row 14: 27 38 David Ragan MDS Tranpsort Ford 36.228 198.741
28 43 Bubba Wallace Meijer Chevrolet 36.262 198.555
Row 15: 29 95 Kasey Kahne Chevy Accessories Chevrolet 36.372 197.954
30 32 Matt DiBenedetto Can-Am/Wholey Ford 36.418 197.704
Row 16: 31 13 Ty Dillon Twisted Tea Chevrolet 36.564 196.915
32 72 Corey LaJoie Zomongo Chevrolet 37.030 194.437
Row 17: 33 15 Ross Chastain(i) FlightPath International Chevrolet 37.081 194.170
34 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 37.374 192.647
Row 18: 35 51 BJ McLeod(i) Prefund Capital Chevrolet 37.484 192.082
36 00 Landon Cassill Star Com Fiber Chevrolet 37.608 191.449
Row 19: 37 7 DJ Kennington APC Chevrolet 38.319 187.896
38 66 Timmy Hill(i) MBM Motorsports/CrashClaimsR.us Toyota 38.617 186.446
Row 20: 39 99 Garrett Smithley(i) Victory Lane Quick Oil Change Chevrolet 38.618 186.442
Did Not Qualify: None.
Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs
Chevrolet 19 0 Toyota 7 0
Ford 13 0
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2018, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 PM, 06.08.2018