Fort Worth, TX – It was a record shattering day at the Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. Kurt Busch not only set the Texas NASCAR track record, but he also set the quickest qualifying lap for a 1.5-mile track in general.
Busch, circled the 1.5-mile North Texas track with a speed of 200.915 mph in his No. 41 Ford. It was Busch’s first Coors Light Pole Award of the season as the non playoff eligible driver will start on the top spot for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN).
The previous track record was set by Tony Stewart in 2014 as he turned a lap of 200.111 mph three years ago.
In fact, five drivers in total eclipsed Stewart’s 2014 lap, including Busch’s 22nd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole and second of his Texas career.
Denny Hamlin narrowly lost out on the pole as he was 0.40-seconds off. Hamlin, turned a lap of 200.617 mph in his No. 11 Toyota. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is looking for his first top five finish at Texas since he swept both races in the Lonestar state in 2010.
The pole sitter in April in Kevin Harvick will roll off third in his No. 4 Ford. Busch’s SHR teammate turned a speed of 200.378 mph.
Two more Toyota’s in rookie Erik Jones (200.326 mph) and Kyle Busch (200.252 mph) rounded out the top five and will start fourth and fifth respectively.
Other playoff drivers will start: Martin Truex Jr. (seventh), Ryan Blaney (eighth), Jimmie Johnson (ninth), Brad Keselowski (10th) and Chase Elliott (34th).
Elliott’s car was one of seven to not pass prequalifying inspection and never got to turn a lap. That happened to him in the spring too.
AAA Texas 500 Starting Lineup
Row 1: Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin
Row 2: Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones R
Row 3: Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez R
Row 4: Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney
Row 5: Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski
Row 6: Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Row 7: Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick
Row 8: Austin Dillon, AJ Allmendinger
Row 9: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Aric Almirola
Row 10: Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer
Row 11: Landon Cassill
Row 12: Michael McDowell, David Ragan
Row 13: Ryan Newman, Chris Buescher
Row 14: Ty Dillon R, Matt DiBenedetto
Row 15: Cole Whitt, Joey Gase
Row 16: Ray Black Jr. R, Jeffrey Earnhardt
Row 17: David Starr, Chase Elliott
Row 18: Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano
Row 19: Trevor Bayne, Reed Sorenson
Row 20: Corey Lajoie R, Gray Gaulding