Friday, March 4, 2016

Kurt Busch grabs pole in his hometown

Kurt Busch was 10/1 to win Las Vegas pole.
6:30 pm : Day 2 Goodnight - That will do it for today's coverage from the track. Join us again tomorrow for Sprint Cup Series Happy Hour practice, Xfinity Series qualifying and Boyd Gaming 300.

5:45 pm : Kurt Busch Wins Pole with New Track Record - Kurt Busch gave the hometown fans something to cheer about with his consecutive pole of the season and a new track record to boot. Busch's lap was 196.328 mph, more than 1.5 mph quicker that the existing record.

"It was insanely fast," Busch confirmed. "Two poles in a row. This is great.

"Man, I wasn't going to lift for anything. I was giving it all I had. I was overdriving the car and I needed to settle in. Tony Gibson (crew chief) made a great adjustment in that last round. I was hoping to put on a show for the home crowd, get the pole, but now we’ve got to go to work tomorrow.

Joey Logano joins Busch on the front row for the start of Sunday's Kobat 400 with a 195.851 mph lap.

"I always talk about the guts-to-brain ratio," said Logano. "And this is a track you need more guts than brains to tell yourself to put your foot on the throttle when you really feel like you shouldn’t. It is fun for that reason. We were good in (turns) three and four but not enough to beat Kurt. Another front row starting spot, our third in a row here, but second always stings a little bit."

Rounding out the top five are Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon.

5:35 pm : Brad Keselowski Fastest in 2nd Round
- Keselowsi was fastest in the second qualifying round and this time the top 10 drivers outpaced the existing track record. 2nd through 5th were Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex, Jr and Matt Kenseth.

The red flag flew with a little less than 7 minutes to go in the session when Carl Edwards crashed into the outside wall. Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne were on the track when the crash occured. NASCAR decided to throw the flag after Kahne finished his lap but the flag flew before Vickers completed his lap meaning it didn't count. Team owner Tony Stewart was in a spirited conversation with NASCAR officials on pit road about the call but the best NASCAR would do at the time was invite him to the trailer to discuss the situation after qualifying.

Kahne made it into the final round while Vickers failed to crack the top 12 and had to sit it out.

5:15 pm : Kurt Busch Fastest in 1st Round
- Kurt Busch was the fastest of six drivers who circled LVMS faster than the existing track record of 194.769 mph set by Jeff Gordon in 2015. Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, and were second through 6th fastest.

Jamie McMurray had trouble during that round. His car wobbled off turn 4 and slapped the outside wall with the right rear but not hard enough to force an interruption in the qualifying round.

4:50 pm : Sprint Cup Qualifying Underway - The first round of qualifying has just begun. With just 39 entries, everyone will make the field, including Wood Brothers Racing, The Motorsports Group an Premium Motorsports, the three teams on the list not protected by franchise status.

The pole winner gets to lead the field to green on Sunday plus a way cool trophy featuring a (way) scaled down version of the Stratosphere. The trophy version measures in at just a touch under 3 feet, while the real deal is almost 1,150 feet tall.

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