|Kyle Busch grabs his first pole of the season|
In one of the quirks of the new NASCAR qualifying procedure, Busch posted the top speed at 99.674 mph in the final qualifying round to win the pole and the right to lead the STP 500 field to green Sunday.
MORE: STP 500 qualifying results | Martinsville picks | Hendrick's success at track |Hamlin's defense
In the opening round, which determined the 12 drivers who advanced to the pole-setting round as part of NASCAR's new 2014 qualifying format, Joey Logano turned a lap of 100.201 to set the track record.
Logano (99.428 mph in the final round) will start third, behind the Joe Gibbs Racing front row of Busch and Denny Hamlin (99.548).
“(Winning the pole here) is something that doesn’t happen very often, with at least me behind the wheel,” said Busch, who was third in the opening round. “It is a great day for us and the whole team.”
It was Busch’s first pole of the season and first career pole at Martinsville. Of all the JGR drivers, it was expected Hamlin, with four wins at Martinsville, would have the best chance of capturing the pole.
“Denny is always really good here at Martinsville,” Busch said. “We always come here, we always predict Denny to win or finish second to the 48 (of Jimmie Johnson). … It’s just a matter of fighting out to the end.”
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Johnson and Jeff Gordon will start fourth and fifth. Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray and Danica Patrick rounded out the top-10.
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