Let's face it: The qualifying format for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is one of the wackiest things NASCAR does all season.
The starting lineup is determined by three laps: Drivers make two qualifying circuits, come down pit road at the end of the second lap for a four-tire pit stop and then return to the track for a final lap around the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Because a pit stop was involved, getting on and off pit road was as important as anything in deciding the pole. And Kyle Busch did that the best on Friday night, grabbing the top spot for Saturday's All-Star Race.
"We all love this format and enjoy it," Busch said. "... I give (my pit crew) the credit of having a really fast pit stop here today."
As the last car to run, Busch knocked Clint Bowyer off the top spot.
"That Kyle Busch is a pain in everybody's butt, isn't he?" Bowyer joked.
Bowyer will start on the outside pole, followed by Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Mark Martin – who is driving the No. 25 car this weekend instead of his usual No. 5.
Starting lineup for the 2011 NASCAR All-Star Race:
- Kyle Busch
- Clint Bowyer
- Greg Biffle
- Carl Edwards
- Mark Martin
- Tony Stewart
- Kasey Kahne
- Juan Pablo Montoya
- Jamie McMurray
- Ryan Newman
- Jimmie Johnson
- Jeff Gordon
- Matt Kenseth
- Kevin Harvick
- Denny Hamlin
- Kurt Busch
- Regan Smith
- David Reutimann
- **Transfer spot for Sprint Showdown winner**
- **Transfer spot for Sprint Showdown runnerup**
- **Transfer spot for Sprint All-Star fan vote winner**