Kyle Busch Wins Atlanta Pole

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HAMPTON, GA - RIS - Kyle Busch won the pole for the Folds of Honor Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Atlana Motor Speedway.  The veteran driver locked up his 28th career pole and his first at Atlanta in 20 tries after he posted a track best 184.652 mph. Ryan Newman will start second after posting 184.419 mph.

Busch booted Ryan Newman from the pole. Newman’s speed was 184.419 MPH. It was Busch's 28th career pole, and first at Atlanta. Also in the top five were Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez and Brad Keselowski.

Busch had tire problems in the Daytona 500, finishing 25th. He’ll be among the favorites in Sunday’s race at a track where he’s won twice.

“It’s a long race,” Busch said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who are fast on old tires and lot of guys who are fast on new tires. You need to be the better car on both of those if you can. We’ll work on it tomorrow in race trim and see what we can do.”

 The bigger story of qualifying Friday, though, centered around a man who wasn't even on the track. Reigning Series champion Martin Truex Jr. failed to pass inspection on three attempts and will start in the back row.

Truex Jr. won seven of the 11 races on 1.5-mile tracks last season and finished in the top five nine times. He could have attempted to pass inspection one more time, but had he failed again he would have lost crew chief Cole Pearn for the race. Truex decided to cut his losses and move on.

All eyes will be on Georgia native Chase Elliott this weekend as he looks to capture his first Cup Series win at his hometown track. Back in the No. 9 car, a number made famous by his Hall of Fame father Bill, Elliott will start 27th after a disappointing qualifying round.

Austin Dillon, who won last week's Daytona 500 will start 25th.

Time Trial Results - 59th Annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Qualifying Round 1
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Autotrader Ford, 29.737, 186.434, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 29.869, 185.610, 1, 1, 0.132, 0.132
Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 29.988, 184.874, 1, 1, 0.251, 0.119
Kyle Larson, No. 42 First Data Chevrolet, 30.025, 184.646, 1, 1, 0.288, 0.037
Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet, 30.025, 184.646, 1, 1, 0.288, 0.000
Daniel Suarez, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 30.075, 184.339, 1, 1, 0.338, 0.050
William Byron #, No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet, 30.088, 184.260, 1, 1, 0.351, 0.013
Ryan Newman, No. 31 Liberty National Chevrolet, 30.091, 184.241, 1, 1, 0.354, 0.003
Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 30.117, 184.082, 1, 1, 0.380, 0.026
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford, 30.126, 184.027, 1, 1, 0.389, 0.009
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford Ford, 30.132, 183.990, 1, 1, 0.395, 0.006
Kyle Busch, No. 18 Snickers Almond Toyota, 30.140, 183.942, 1, 1, 0.403, 0.008
Alex Bowman, No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet, 30.146, 183.905, 1, 1, 0.409, 0.006
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet, 30.194, 183.613, 1, 1, 0.457, 0.048
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota, 30.240, 183.333, 3, 3, 0.503, 0.046
Paul Menard, No. 21 Menards/Moen Ford, 30.242, 183.321, 1, 1, 0.505, 0.002
Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Ford, 30.251, 183.267, 1, 1, 0.514, 0.009
Erik Jones, No. 20 DEWALT Toyota, 30.299, 182.976, 1, 1, 0.562, 0.048
Trevor Bayne, No. 6 AdvoCare Ford, 30.350, 182.669, 1, 1, 0.613, 0.051
Kasey Kahne, No. 95 Procore Habitat for Humanity Chevrolet, 30.433, 182.171, 1, 1, 0.696, 0.083
AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet, 30.433, 182.171, 1, 1, 0.696, 0.000
Darrell Wallace Jr. #, No. 43 NASCAR Racing Experience Chevrolet, 30.439, 182.135, 1, 1, 0.702, 0.006
Michael McDowell, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 30.475, 181.920, 1, 1, 0.738, 0.036
Chris Buescher, No. 37 Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet, 30.488, 181.842, 1, 1, 0.751, 0.013
Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Chevrolet, 30.503, 181.753, 1, 1, 0.766, 0.015
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford, 30.537, 181.550, 1, 1, 0.800, 0.034
Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 30.616, 181.082, 1, 2, 0.879, 0.079
Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 30.750, 180.293, 1, 3, 1.013, 0.134
David Ragan, No. 38 Fr8 Auctions Ford, 30.780, 180.117, 1, 3, 1.043, 0.030
Matt DiBenedetto, No. 32 Can-Am/Wholey Ford, 30.987, 178.914, 1, 1, 1.250, 0.207
Gray Gaulding Jr., No. 23 Earthwater Toyota, 31.099, 178.269, 1, 1, 1.362, 0.112
Cole Whitt, No. 72 Chevrolet, 31.314, 177.045, 1, 1, 1.577, 0.215
Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 00 VRX Simulators Chevrolet, 31.671, 175.050, 1, 1, 1.934, 0.357
Ross Chastain(i), No. 15 LowT Center Chevrolet, 31.796, 174.362, 1, 1, 2.059, 0.125
Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour Energy Toyota, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
Harrison Rhodes, No. 51 Davis Roofing/ICE Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----

Qualifying Round 2
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 30.043, 184.535, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
Daniel Suarez, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 30.084, 184.284, 1, 1, 0.041, 0.041
Kyle Larson, No. 42 First Data Chevrolet, 30.101, 184.180, 1, 1, 0.058, 0.017
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Autotrader Ford, 30.152, 183.868, 1, 1, 0.109, 0.051
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford, 30.155, 183.850, 1, 1, 0.112, 0.003
Kyle Busch, No. 18 Snickers Almond Toyota, 30.178, 183.710, 1, 1, 0.135, 0.023
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford Ford, 30.212, 183.503, 1, 1, 0.169, 0.034
Ryan Newman, No. 31 Liberty National Chevrolet, 30.218, 183.467, 1, 1, 0.175, 0.006
Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Ford, 30.224, 183.430, 1, 1, 0.181, 0.006
Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 30.248, 183.285, 1, 1, 0.205, 0.024
Erik Jones, No. 20 DEWALT Toyota, 30.292, 183.019, 1, 1, 0.249, 0.044
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota, 30.303, 182.952, 1, 1, 0.260, 0.011
Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet, 30.324, 182.825, 1, 1, 0.281, 0.021
Kasey Kahne, No. 95 Procore Habitat for Humanity Chevrolet, 30.377, 182.507, 1, 1, 0.334, 0.053
Paul Menard, No. 21 Menards/Moen Ford, 30.384, 182.464, 1, 1, 0.341, 0.007
Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 30.440, 182.129, 1, 1, 0.397, 0.056
Michael McDowell, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 30.469, 181.955, 1, 1, 0.426, 0.029
Alex Bowman, No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet, 30.523, 181.634, 1, 1, 0.480, 0.054
Darrell Wallace Jr. #, No. 43 NASCAR Racing Experience Chevrolet, 30.551, 181.467, 1, 1, 0.508, 0.028
Trevor Bayne, No. 6 AdvoCare Ford, 30.578, 181.307, 1, 1, 0.535, 0.027
AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet, 30.588, 181.248, 1, 1, 0.545, 0.010
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet, 30.590, 181.236, 1, 1, 0.547, 0.002
William Byron #, No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet, 30.663, 180.804, 1, 3, 0.620, 0.073
Chris Buescher, No. 37 Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----

Qualifying Round 3
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
Kyle Busch, No. 18 Snickers Almond Toyota, 30.024, 184.652, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
Ryan Newman, No. 31 Liberty National Chevrolet, 30.062, 184.419, 1, 1, 0.038, 0.038
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 30.067, 184.388, 1, 1, 0.043, 0.005
Daniel Suarez, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 30.093, 184.229, 1, 1, 0.069, 0.026
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Autotrader Ford, 30.154, 183.856, 1, 1, 0.130, 0.061
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford Ford, 30.176, 183.722, 1, 1, 0.152, 0.022
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford, 30.215, 183.485, 1, 1, 0.191, 0.039
Kyle Larson, No. 42 First Data Chevrolet, 30.221, 183.449, 1, 1, 0.197, 0.006
Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 30.414, 182.284, 1, 1, 0.390, 0.193
Erik Jones, No. 20 DEWALT Toyota, 30.621, 181.052, 1, 1, 0.597, 0.207
Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Ford, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----

Starting Line Up - 59th Annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed
Kyle Busch, No. No. 18 Snickers Almond Toyota, 30.024, 184.652
Ryan Newman, No. 31 Liberty National Chevrolet, 30.062, 184.419
Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 30.067, 184.388
Daniel Suarez, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 30.093, 184.229
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Autotrader Ford, 30.154, 183.856
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford Ford, 30.176, 183.722
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford, 30.215, 183.485
Kyle Larson, No. 42 First Data Chevrolet, 30.221, 183.449
Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 30.414, 182.284
Erik Jones, No. 20 DEWALT Toyota, 30.621, 181.052
Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Ford, 30.224, 183.430
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota, 30.303, 182.952
Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet, 30.324, 182.825
Kasey Kahne, No. 95 Procore Habitat for Humanity Chevrolet, 30.377, 182.507
Paul Menard, No. 21 Menards/Moen Ford, 30.384, 182.464
Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 30.440, 182.129
Michael McDowell, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 30.469, 181.955
Alex Bowman, No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet, 30.523, 181.634
Darrell Wallace Jr. #, No. 43 NASCAR Racing Experience Chevrolet, 30.551, 181.467
Trevor Bayne, No. 6 AdvoCare Ford, 30.578, 181.307
AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet, 30.588, 181.248
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet, 30.590, 181.236
William Byron #, No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet, 30.663, 180.804
Chris Buescher, No. 37 Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet, 30.488, 181.842
Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Chevrolet, 30.503, 181.753
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford, 30.537, 181.550
Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 30.616, 181.082
Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 30.750, 180.293
David Ragan, No. 38 Fr8 Auctions Ford, 30.780, 180.117
Matt DiBenedetto, No. 32 Can-Am/Wholey Ford, 30.987, 178.914
Gray Gaulding Jr., No. 23 Earthwater Toyota, 31.099, 178.269
Cole Whitt, No. 72 Chevrolet, 31.314, 177.045
Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 00 VRX Simulators Chevrolet, 31.671, 175.050
Ross Chastain(i), No. 15 LowT Center Chevrolet, 31.796, 174.362
Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour Energy Toyota, 0.000, 0.000
Harrison Rhodes, No. 51 Davis Roofing/ICE Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

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 2, Posted 8:31 PM, 02.23.2018