Busch, a Las Vegas native, also earned the designation of fastest qualifier with a best lap of 196.378 miles per hour in the opening session, a shade better than his pole-winning lap. “The different late-model teams, modified teams, the Legends auto races and all the competitors, the dwarf vehicle days, it’s just fun to come back and to reminisce”.
Fans in other cities don’t always embrace the Busch brothers, to put it politely.
Las Vegas – Kurt Busch won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Kobalt 400, claiming the spot for the second straight week with a top speed of 196.328 miles per hour in his hometown. Last week’s race in Atlanta was NASCAR’s first since 2014 with a smaller-than-maximum field, as well as the smallest number for a Cup race since 37 cars ran at North Wilkesboro Speedway in 1996, according to STATS. The bumper crop of impressive lap times could lead to a speedy race today – or the expected high winds could create caution and uncertainty. While the rain should miss the racers, wind gusts of 40 miles per hour won’t be surprising during the competition.
One would imagine that the added difficulty will only further benefit those that have already adapted well to the new package, though a curveball like this is bad news for the likes of polesitter Kurt Busch, who went from knowing he had one of the best cars for the race to having to hope he and his Stewart-Haas Racing team can acclimate and adapt quickly enough to remain competitive. But Busch has done the math on the possible challenges, figuring they’ll have to combat a 30 miles per hour tailwind into Turn 3 and the same headwind on the front straightaway.
“It feels really good for as good as this auto was”, said Busch. “The downforce increase and decrease is staggering”. The team was allowed to make the adjustment between rounds without penalty.
Joey Logano will start up front alongside Busch on Sunday after clocking a lap in 27.572 seconds. The team is appealing the ruling, so the suspension is stayed. As the back of Ware’s vehicle brushed the outside wall and started to trickle back down the track, it was hit hard by the No. 6 For of Darrell “Bubba” Wallace. Edwards wasn’t sure what happened, but he thought the right rear tire blew.
Daytona 500 victor Denny Hamlin, driving a backup Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 after a crash in Thursday testing, qualified ninth.
Formula One gave the go-ahead Friday to a new qualifying system in which drivers will be eliminated every few minutes, a change strongly opposed by four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.