Kyle Busch wins pole for Friday night’s Truck race at Kansas, Ryan Blaney starts second

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Kyle Busch will start Friday night’s SFP 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway from the pole.

Busch was the No. 1 qualifier with a field-best run around the 1.5-mile track at 178.921 mph (at 30.181 seconds).

Ryan Blaney, who hopped out of his truck after qualifying and climbed into his Sprint Cup car to attempt to qualify for his first career Cup race, will start the Trucks race on the outside pole (178.873 mph).

Two incidents of note occurred during the overall qualifying period.

In the first session, Ben Kennedy lost control of his truck and hit the outside retaining wall, first with the rear and then the front of his truck.

“I don’t really know,” Kennedy said. “I knew we had a free setup the first couple laps, but I didn’t think it would be that free. I just drove it into (Turn 1) and I don’t really know what happened, the truck just broke loose. I saved it for a second and then by that time, I tried to keep it out of the wall, but unfortunately I hit it.”

Kennedy’s team went to its backup truck for Friday night’s race. As a result, he’ll start from the back of the pack when the green flag falls.

During the second session, smoke poured from under the truck of Darryl “Bubba” Wallace Jr.

According to a report on Fox Sports 1, the fan inside the motor compartment came loose and damaged the oil cooling line.

The team was attempting to determine whether the damage can be repaired or whether Wallace will also have to go to a backup truck, but a subsequent Fox Sports 1 report indicated Wallace will start from the rear of the field due to an engine change.

Here’s the starting lineup for Friday night’s SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway:

Row 1 Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney

Row 2 Johnny Sauter, Brian Ickler

Row 3 Joey Logano, Jeb Burton

Row 4 Austin Dillon, Timothy Peters

Row 5 Matt Crafton, Joey Coulter

Row 6 John Wes Townley, Brennan Newberry

Row 7 Tayler Malsam, Ron Hornaday Jr.

Row 8 Tyler Young, Joe Nemechek

Row 9 German Quiroga Jr., Mason Mingus

Row 10 Spencer Gallagher, Jimmy Weller III

Row 11 Darrell Wallace Jr. (will start from the back due to an engine change), Bryan Silas

Row 12 Todd Shafer, T.J. Bell

Row 13 Charles Lewandoski, Justin Jennings

Row 14 Jennifer Jo Cobb, Ryan Ellis

Row 15 Norm Benning, Ben Kennedy (will start from rear of field due to going to backup truck)

Row 16 Scott Stenzel

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IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.