NASCAR Starting Lineup At Watkins Glen: Kyle Busch Shatters Track Record

Fastest in Friday's opening practice session, Kyle Busch was the final of 46 cars to make a qualifying run and after his lap shot to the top of the speed charts. 

Knocking AJ Allmendinger from the top spot, Busch scored his first pole of the season and the first of his career at Watkins Glen. In doing so, he also shattered the previous track record with his lap of 69.767 seconds at 126.421 mph. A total of 15 drivers broke the previous record set by Jeff Gordon in 2003. 

"It's cool to come out here and get a pole," Busch said. "Joey (Logano) got it in Sonoma, we got it here, so JGR swept the poles this year on the road courses. Hopefully we can get a win here Sunday. We won here before, we certainly want to win here again."

Saying he was surprised with the lap time, he said his run was not great, but good enough to secure the top spot. 

"I felt like I screwed up a little bit here, a little bit there, maybe, but maybe they were good screw ups, I don't know," he said. "Overall, that was a fast lap time for what I expected it to be."

Jimmie Johnson held the provisional pole for the majority of the session until Marcos Ambrose laid down a fast lap. Calling his lap "a little bit conservative" many figured Ambrose would be the car to beat not only on Sunday, but also in Saturday's qualifying session. 

With only three cars left in the session, AJ Allmendinger shocked many, including himself, as he knocked teammate Ambrose from the pole. Sliding the rear of the car exiting the inner loop, the lap was not the cleanest of the session, but was fast enough to take the top spot - until Busch hit the course.

"I'm not going to lie, it's pretty cool to beat Marcos," Allmendinger said with a smile. "He's the man. To be able to put up a lap a little better than him is cool. I still think he'll be the guy to beat."

Denny Hamlin appeared to be on a pole run until he lost control of the No. 11 Toyota and hit the inside wall exiting Turn 5. Despite the damage, the team will not have to use a back-up car for Sunday's race.

Here is how they will roll off for Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips At The Glen:

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. AJ Allmendinger
  3. Marcos Ambrose
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Juan Pablo Montoya
  6. Ryan Newman
  7. Tony Stewart
  8. Carl Edwards
  9. Martin Truex Jr.
  10. Regan Smith
  11. Bobby Labonte
  12. Brad Keselowski
  13. Joey Logano
  14. Jamie McMurray
  15. Boris Said
  16. David Ragan
  17. Jeff Gordon
  18. Kasey Kahne 
  19. Clint Bowyer
  20. Brian Vickers
  21. Joe Nemechek
  22. Mark Martin
  23. Kevin Harvick
  24. Matt Kenseth
  25. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  26. Casey Mears
  27. Kurt Busch
  28. Greg Biffle
  29. Scott Speed
  30. J.J. Yeley
  31. Robby Gordon
  32. Paul Menard
  33. Michael McDowell
  34. T.J. Bell
  35. Andrew Ranger
  36. Andy Lally
  37. Mike Skinner
  38. Ron Fellows
  39. David Reutimann
  40. Jeff Burton
  41. David Gilliland
  42. Denny Hamlin
  43. Terry Labonte
DNQ - Dave Blaney, Brian Simo, PJ Jones
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