Saturday, November 4, 2017

Kurt Busch nabs Coors Light Pole with new track record at Texas Motor Speedway



by Lisa Janine Cloud

Kurt Busch blazed around Texas Motor Speedway Friday evening, setting a new track record for both fastest lap and fastest pole run, earning the Coors Light Pole award with the accompanying Henry repeating rifle.

The lap was the fastest ever on a mile-and-a-half track.

His 200.915 mph circuit bested the previous record for fastest lap, 200.11 mph, set by Busch’s boss, Tony Stewart, in the second round of time trials for the 2014 AAA Texas 500, which as before the 2015 rules change lowered horsepower. Matt Kenseth set the pole record of 199.299 mph that same race in the final stage of qualifying.

“Three and four is an incredible sensation. Once the car goes into the banking it travels," Busch said, grinning widely. "The suspension collapses in the car, and the car gets lower to the ground and picks up speed because you are lower to the ground and have less drag. It is a sensation that is hard to describe. When you have that grip level in the car, it gives you the feeling that you can just put it down to the floor and there won’t be any consequences.”


“Turns One and Two are where I think the lap times come from, if you can get it to hook and stay right on the bottom, because that end of the track is a lot flatter. You have to back out of the gas all the way. Then in Three and Four you can hold it wide open. Both ends of the track are very different. It is a cool sensation going through three and four almost holding it wide open.”

Busch’s contract with Stewart-Haas Racing is up at the end of the year. When asked about his status, he said, “No updates for me. We are in negotiations. Days like today help quite a bit.”

Each of the top five qualifiers also bested the record, with Denny Hamlin on the outside pole, Kevin Harvick in third, Erik Jones fourth and Kyle Busch rolling off fifth.

Seven drivers did not make a qualifying lap because they didn't pass technical inspection in time. Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Reed Sorenson, Corey LaJoie, and Gray Gaulding will start in the rear of the field, 34th-40th respectively.

Tune in to NBCSN Sunday at 1pm Central Time for all the action.

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