Busch Breaks Bristol Record

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch circled the .533-mile oval in 14.813 seconds. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)


Starting Lineup | Qualifying Results

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Kyle Busch won his first career Sprint Cup pole at Bristol Motor Speedway when he set a new track record in qualifying for the Food City 500.

Busch turned a lap of 129.535 mph around the .533-mile oval in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to eclipse the previous mark set by Ryan Newman of 128.709 mph back in 2003.

"To be able to come out here today -- this whole Joe Gibbs Racing team has done a great job," said Busch, who scored his 11th career pole. "Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and all the guys unloaded with a really good race car. We just kept fine-tuning on the M&M’s Camry to make it a little bit better and we were able to get to where it was pretty quick in practice.

"Certainly starting up front here at Bristol can mean good things, but it doesn’t always work that way. I’ve won plenty of races here starting at the back."

In all, nine drivers turned a sub-15 second mark during the session with the top three breaking the track record.

Busch became the third different pole winner of the 2013 season and is looking forward to driving the new Gen-6 Sprint Cup car in Sunday’s race.

"This new car -- I like driving it because you can drive it a lot more like the old car that we had years ago where you could just abuse it a little bit and try to drive a little bit harder," Busch said. "The old car was all about being smooth and precise and this one here, you can make a little more speed by trying a little harder."

Last week’s Las Vegas runner-up Kasey Kahne qualified second in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

“The car felt really good," Kahne said. "I knew Kyle had put down a great lap...so I knew I had to go pretty hard and I felt like I may have given up a little bit in (Turns) 1 and 2, which would have made it really close for the pole."

Denny Hamlin, Brian Vickers and Paul Menard rounded out the top five.

Although the race will be the second since the top groove in the turns was grinded, Hamlin doesn’t think the racing will be the same as it was last August.

"This time around I think it’s going to be different," Hamlin said. "The lower line has got more grip than I’ve ever felt here in the past, so I think that -- I just said in the hauler I think we’re going to see one of the best races we’ve seen in a long time here because the low line does have a lot of grip and we know everyone is going to start making their way higher just to make their car work, so it’s going to be a good mix of both I believe."

Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano completed the first ten qualifiers.

A couple of marquee drivers struggled in qualifying including Dale Earnhardt Jr. with the 32nd best time and Danica Patrick, who was 41st on the speed chart.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified 28th, but will have to start at the rear of the field after the No. 17 team changed engines in the first practice.

Only Scott Riggs failed to qualify for Sunday’s race.

Sprint Cup Series teams will practice on Saturday with Sunday’s Food City 500 slated for a 1:15 p.m. (ET) green flag.

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