Kyle Busch Smashes Track Record En Route To Grabbing Pole For Food City 500
Kyle Busch smashed the track record at Bristol Motor Speedway, ripping off a lap in 14.813 seconds at 129.535 mph to grab his first-ever Sprint Cup pole at Bristol Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Food City 500.
Busch, a five-time winner at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile, has never started higher than ninth in his previous 16 Sprint Cup starts at BMS. This is his 11th career pole.
Starting up front at Bristol will be a novelty for Busch but considering his record on the short track it has never been a necessity.
"Starting up front at Bristol can mean good things," said Busch. "Doesn't always work that way. I have won plenty of races here starting in the back. To be able to come out here today – this whole Joe Gibbs Racing team has done a good job today and unloaded with a good race car. We just kept fine tuning on it to make it a little bit better and we were able to get it to where it was quick in practice.
"We thought we would have a shot at the pole but we've thought that many of times here before and we've ended up 30th or something. We backed up our practice time and that was good. Our car felt great during the lap. This track is kind of getting a little age to it, so it is getting a little bit rougher. That's about all we felt different than from past years."
Both Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin also broke the track record with Kahne grabbing the outside pole with a 14.875 second lap at 128.995 mph while Hamlin toured the .533-mile oval in 14.879 seconds at 128.960 mph.
"It should be a good race," said Kahne. "I think those speeds were pretty good. When you put softer tires on that you may be able to go faster but they have to last the full race run. I was real happy with how the car drove in race trim and qualifying trim. Going into the corners as hard as we ever have, the car is load and traveling as much as they have with this combination. I think eventually we will probably go faster than that. That was a good lap."
Hamlin, who won last August’s IRWIN Tools Night Race, says Sunday’s race could be one of the best the fans have ever seen at Bristol.
"Our car really had a lot of speed when we got here," he said. "We haven't been able to really mess it up too bad with any adjustments. For us it has been more getting the car off the racetrack. We are really happy with what we got and where we are headed this weekend.
"During the race (last August) it was a battle for the highline. You had to be extremely faster than the guy in front of you or you had to go try and make a pass. It was almost like a superspeedway type race. This time around I think it is going to be different. The lower line has more grip than I've ever felt here. We are going to see one of the best races we have seen here in a long time. The low line does have a lot of grip and we know everyone is going to start to make their way higher to make their car work. It's going to be a good mix of both, I believe."
The old qualifying record, set by Ryan Newman on March 23, 2003, was 128.709 mph.
Purchasing tickets to the Food City 500 enters the guest in the Bruton’s Big Bristol Giveaway in which 10 lucky fans win a new Ford Mustang.
Tickets still are available and may be purchased by visiting the BMS ticket office, calling toll-free (866) 415-4158.