Kyle Busch captured the pole position for tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 with a lap of 125.142 miles per hour in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Busch unseated Kyle Larson from the provisional pole with roughly seven and a half minutes remaining in the second and final round of knockout qualifying.
He then improved to his final pole time of 15.333 seconds on his next lap (his third timed lap in Round 2).
“It was quite eventful to be honest with you, but that’s pretty quick around here for these Nationwide cars,” Busch said to Fox Sports after claiming his fifth Nationwide pole of 2014.
“…[Crew chief] Adam [Stevens] and the guys again have done a nice job this weekend, so we’ll see if we can capitalize on what we’ve got right now and see if we can win here after 300 laps.”
Joining him on the front row will be Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, who will make his second front row start of the year (pole at Iowa Speedway in May) in the No. 22 Ford.
“I thought I got beat getting into the corner, by my Dad [Dave Blaney] said he killed me off the corner, so I guess I got in a little bit deeper than I expected,” Ryan said.
“I didn’t think we were great the first round – we kinda took it easy a little bit – but [crew chief] Jeremy Bullins did a great job of adjusting it here for the second round, the one that counts. I just needed a little more stability in the corner.”
Kyle Larson and Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott will start from Row 2, followed by a pair of Joe Gibbs Racing pilots – Elliott Sadler and young Erik Jones – in Row 3. Ty Dillon and Regan Smith are in Row 4, and Row 5 belongs to Richard Childress Racing teammates Brian Scott and Cale Conley.
The first round was slowed by a red flag following a two-car incident involving Carl Long and Hermie Sadler. About 10 minutes into the 30-minute round, Long spun out off of Turn 4 and slid into the back of Sadler on the frontstretch.
Sadler sustained serious rear-end damage to his No. 19 car, but Fox Sports reported during the qualifying telecast that his team would make repairs to the wounded primary instead of bringing out their backup. He was able to make the field on owner’s points.
Five drivers failed to qualify for tonight’s race: Milka Duno, Derrike Cope, Matt Frahm, Carl Long, and Ryan Ellis.
The green flag for tonight’s 300-lap event should fall shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET.