Kyle Busch edges Ryan Newman for Atlanta Cup pole

Kyle Busch will start from pole position for the 28th time in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup career this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch edges Ryan Newman for Atlanta Cup pole
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Wins the pole at Atlanta
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford Fusion and Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro
Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion and crew chief Rodney Childers
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota

Kyle Busch earned his 28th-career Cup pole on Friday and his first at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

Busch posted a time of 30.024 to beat Ryan Newman for the top spot by .038-seconds.

“Just a great day,” Busch said. “That’s a great achievement for our team today. Hopefully, that bodes well for Sunday.”

Kevin Harvick will start third in the Fold of Honors QuikTrip 500 followed by Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer and  Erik Jones.

Once again, Harvick was the first car on the track for the five-minute session. He established a time of 184.376mph. Stenhouse was second, Kurt Busch third. Keselowski bumped Stenhouse to third with a lap of (183.850mph).

Newman, the fifth driver to take a lap, bounced Harvick to second with a speed of 184.419mph. Suarez’s lap of 184.211 was third quick of eight drivers. Larson’s attempt was only good enough for seventh. 

Kyle Busch, the 10th driver out, vaulted to the top with a lap of 184.652mph. 

Only 10 drivers made attempts with Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin begging off. 

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 1 30.024     184.652
2 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 1 30.062 0.038 0.038 184.419
3 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 1 30.067 0.043 0.005 184.388
4 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 1 30.093 0.069 0.026 184.229
5 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 1 30.154 0.130 0.061 183.856
6 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 1 30.176 0.152 0.022 183.722
7 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 1 30.215 0.191 0.039 183.485
8 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 1 30.221 0.197 0.006 183.449
9 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 1 30.414 0.390 0.193 182.284
10 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 1 30.621 0.597 0.207 181.052
11 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford   0.000     0.000
12 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota   0.000     0.000

Round 2

Harvick was the first driver out in the second round and established the fast lap of 184.529mph. His teammate Kurt Busch was second with a lap of 183.850mph, but was quickly bumped by Keselowski and then Suarez.

With five minutes to go, Kyle Busch posted the fifth-fastest lap. Stenhouse, Newman, Bowyer, McMurray, Kahne and Logano held onto the top 12. Larson vaulted up to third with a lap of 184.180mph with under four minutes to go. Almirola’s laps was 10th-quick. Menard was the next driver out but posted the 14th-quick time (30.384-seconds). 

As time ran out on the clock, Hamlin bumped McMurray out of the top 12 with a lap of 182.952mph. 

“Just lost the line,” Hamlin said.

Harvick, Suarez, Larson, Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Stenhouse, Newman, Almirola, Bowyer, Jones and Hamlin transferred to the third round.

Round 1

Martin Truex Jr. never took to the track for qualifying on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing failed Hawk-Eye inspection station three times. Under the at-track deterrence model, car chief Blake Harris ejected from the race track. 

Brad Keselowski set the quick pace with a lap of 186.434mph which held up for the top speed followed by Harvick, Bowyer, Larson and McMurray. The Ganassi drivers posted the identical speed—184.646mph.

Stenhouse, who was the third driver on the track, grazed the wall coming out of Turn 4. Eight minutes into the session, Keselowski, Harvick, McMurray, Suarez and William Byron had the top five speeds.

“I don’t know what more I could do there, just really loose,” Hamlin said after posting the 16th quick time. 

With just over seven minutes remaining, Bowyer bounced up to fourth followed by Larson. Bubba Wallace was 19th-quick on his first run and bumped Ty Dillon out of the top 24. Paul Menard was 12th-fastest and knocked out Chase Elliott. The Hendrick Chevys of Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson ran 13th and 14th, respectively. Johnson went through inspection twice before coming to the grid. 

Michael McDowell, the 34th car to take a lap, bounced Hamlin from the top 24. Hamlin made a second attempt and knocked Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon off the bubble. Dillon will start 25th on Sunday. Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon also made a second run but to no avail.

“I don’t really have much of an excuse for it,” Elliott said. “We just didn’t hit it right.”

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