Kyle Busch sat on pit road patiently, waiting for the right time to go out and lay down his lap. In both rounds, Busch chose the right time to go out, and made a pair of great laps as he would score the Coors Light Pole Award for the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway tonight. The lap of 15.333 seconds marks the 41st career pole of Busch’s career and his fourth at Bristol as he goes for his fourth straight Nationwide Series at Bristol.
“Can’t say enough. Awesome racecar here,” Busch commented. “(Crew chief) Adam (Stevens) and the guys have done a nice job this weekend, so we’ll see if we can capitalize and score the win at the end of 300 laps.”
Ryan Blaney, who is running a partial schedule this year for Team Penske, would qualify second, a tenth off of Busch’s quick time for his fourth front row start of the season.
“I thought I got beat going into the corner, but my dad said that he killed me off the corner, so I guess I got into it a little too hard,” Blaney said. “We weren’t really good in the first round, but Jeremy Bullins made the right adjustments and we were better in round two, just needed to be a little more stable.”
Kyle Larson, who led final practice, was third quickest as he has a pair of runner-up finishes in his last three Bristol starts. Points leader Chase Elliott would qualify fourth after leading the first practice yesterday, while Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five. Erik Jones would qualify sixth as he runs a partial schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing this year, while running 12 truck races for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“Honestly, I thought that lap was going to be one in the top three, but it just wasn’t there,” Jones said. “We’re working at find that speed to get up there with them. We’ve been working hard and the car is capable, so we’ll keep at it.”
Ty Dillon qualified seventh, followed by Regan Smith, Brian Scott and Cale Conley. Brendan Gaughan would qualify 11th after getting sideways in turns three and four and up into the wall a little bit during the first round. Trevor Bayne will start 12th, followed by Kevin Harvick, Dylan Kwasniewski, Dakoda Armstrong, James Buescher, Landon Cassill, Mike Bliss and last week’s race winner Chris Buescher.
“It’s a shame,” Kwasniewski commented. “We got faster each time, but it was so close as everybody can see with the time. We just missed it a little in qualifying trim and didn’t want to put more laps on the tires trying to go faster, so hopefully we’ll be good in race trim. Hopefully we can make something happen and fight with those guys.”
“We’ve been trying to get our Mustang going, and for whatever reason, it’s been a bit of struggle,” C. Buescher said. “It’s a tough deal getting our first win last week and then coming here and struggling. It’s not due to lack of effort as the guys are working hard. So hopefully we can get it better and gain some a little.”
Qualifying featured a pair of incidents, with one of them pausing the clock for a little bit. Just under 10 minutes into round one, Carl long would get loose on the exit of the corner, sliding sideways down the frontstretch before colliding with Hermie Sadler, who was running slow along the apron. Sadler’s team said that they’d repair the car for the race tonight. Then with about nine minutes to go in round one, Cassill got into the wall off of the corner.
Ryan Ellis, Carl Long, Matt Frahm, Derrike Cope and Milka Duno would fail to qualify.