Kurt Busch tops “Happy Hour” at Pocono

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Kurt Busch certainly hasn’t been lacking in the speed department as of late, and he was at the top of the charts again during final practice for tomorrow’s Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway. “The Outlaw” went P1 in the session with a lap at 175.333 miles per hour around the triangular 2.5-mile oval.

“The guys just keep bringing fast cars,” Busch told SPEED Channel afterwards. “It’s really nice to drive consistent week in and week out, and then we polish up on some items once we unload. We’re just a little warm on the brakes right now. [We have] just a couple more maintenance items that we have to throw at the car because it’ll be a lot warmer tomorrow with the sunshine out.”

After rain washed out all on-track activity on Friday, Pocono is expected to see drier, sunnier conditions for Sunday’s 400-mile main event. At 17th in the Sprint Cup points, Busch is aiming for a critical victory that can get him into contention for a wild-card spot in the Chase.

Jimmie Johnson, who will start on pole following Friday’s washout, was second-quickest in “Happy Hour” with a lap at 175.305 mph. Carl Edwards was third-fastest (175.206 mph), followed by last week’s winner Tony Stewart in P4 (175.159 mph) and one of Stewart’s teammates, Ryan Newman, in fifth (174.988 mph).

Defending race champion Joey Logano was 15th-quickest in the session. He’ll now head off to the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway in order to qualify and race in tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event there, then come back to Pocono for Sunday’s Cup race.