Kyle Busch scored his first pole of the season for Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway, a track where he’s won the last two races.
Busch, who sits 22 points above the cutoff to make the Monster Energy Cup Series Championship 4, posted a fast lap of 25.693 seconds, 140.116 mph to capture his 32nd career pole.
“Obviously, it gives us number one pit selection as well, so lots of things that can certainly help us to fire off here to start,” Busch said. “Those guys behind us, we know are going to be awfully hungry as well. We just have to see how the race plays out. It puts us in the best possible spot to start off and we’ve got 312 laps to figure it out.”
The two drivers behind Busch in the Playoff grid, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin qualified second and third, respectively.
Logano, who is 20 points ahead of the cutoff, went out last in the session and recorded a lap of 25.760, 139.752 mph.
“It’s close and we’re doing what we’ve got to do,” Logano said. “We’ve got to run up front. We got to start up front and stay up there all day.”
Hamlin is the first driver below the cutline, 20 points behind.
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Playoff drivers dominance in qualifying continued with Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick taking spots fourth through seventh, respectively. Both Truex Jr. and Harvick have already secured a spot in the Championship 4.
“There’s definitely guys that are faster than I am,” said Larson, who 23 points behind the cutoff. “I feel like I’m a bit like a fifth to seventh place car after practice. I felt like the 11 (Denny Hamlin) was, by far, the best. But I almost won here in 2017 and I had a third to fifth place car. We just had some restarts there late and lined up in the right position. Anything can happen, so we’ll see. I’m hopeful.”
Kurt Busch, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney, the final playoff driver, completed the top 10.
Motor Racing Network’s live coverage of Sunday’s 312-lap race will begin at 1:30 p.m ET.