Kyle Busch picked up his 100th career NASCAR victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last July. This July, he’s put himself into a great position to add another victory to that list as the pole-sitter for Sunday’s 20th annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race.
The fastest in practice, Busch was the last driver to take the track on Friday afternoon. Busch zipped the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota around the 1.058-mile in 28.548 seconds (133.417 mph), followed by Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer.
It was Busch’s first pole this season and his second-career at NHMS, his only other coming in September of 2008.
“We definitely had a great day, we had a fast race car right off the truck,” said Busch. “(Watching other drivers qualify) screws me up more than anything. I just tried to hit the same marks that I hit in practice and have that time – that would have given us second.”
Busch and Kahne will follow Ricky Craven around NHMS to begin the LENOX Industrial Tools 301. Craven, a New England native who calls NHMS his “home track,” will drive the Toyota Camry pace car in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing.
Kahne, who has started from the front row twice previously this year (Las Vegas and Martinsville), tried to get the most out of his No. 5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet – especially given how tight the times were. The top eight qualifiers are within .047 seconds of one another.
“It was really close, as far as the times, everyone is really close, so you have to go for all you can get,” said Kahne. “The car felt really good and I didn’t waste any time in that first turn, knowing how tight the times were. I was aggressive on the first lap.”
Hamlin echoed Kahne’s thoughts.
“We were just really on the edge out there on the track,” said Hamlin. “That was all it had speed-wise – the conditions were tight.”
NASCAR’s best will race for Loudon the Lobster on Sunday. Great seats for both Saturday and Sunday’s events are still available. To purchase tickets please call the NHMS ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting www.nhms.com.