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NASCAR Phoenix 2016 qualifying results: Kyle Busch leads Joe Gibbs Racing 1-2-3; Jimmie Johnson escapes injury

Johnson was unhurt in a violent crash that saw him hit the wall nearly head-on.

Considering the previous instance he thought he had won a pole until NASCAR later disallowed his time due to a technical violation, Kyle Busch was understandably muted in celebrating setting the fastest speed (138.387 mph) in qualifying Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.

But no such violations were found on Busch's No. 18 Toyota Friday, meaning he will start first in Sunday's Good Sam 500. He will lead a brigade of Joe Gibbs Racing drivers with teammates Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin qualifying second and third, respectively.

The pole is Busch's first of the season and 18th of his career. He had provisionally won the pole for the Feb. 28 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway until failing post-qualifying inspection for a minor violation, forcing him to start last.

"Real pleased with the effort of this whole team," Busch said. "All the guys did a great job. Our JGR Camrys were really fast so thanks to Toyota, (Toyota Racing Development) and all of these guys."

Kurt Busch, Kyle's older brother, and Jimmie Johnson completed the top five qualifiers. Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse completed the top 10.

Johnson, however, will have to forfeit his position after an apparent mechanical failure caused him to veer nearly head-on into the outside wall while trying to record another lap in Round 3. The six-time Cup Series champion escaped injury, but his Chevrolet was severely damaged and he will switch to a backup for Sunday. He later tweeted that the steering wheel came off, which is what caused him to lose control and turn suddenly while at speed.

"Just a really hard impact to the outside wall," Johnson said.

Johnson will not be the lone Hendrick Motorsports driver starting at the tail of the 39-car field. Teammate Kasey Kahne, who had posted the sixth-fastest speed in Round 1, suffered an engine failure in the second session causing his car to smoke heavily. Because of the engine change, Kahne forfeits his starting position (24th).

Phoenix maestro Kevin Harvick, who's won five of the past seven races on the 1-mile desert track, uncharacteristically struggled, posting just the 18th-fastest time.

All 39 drivers entered qualified and will race Sunday.

Good Sam 500 starting lineup

Position Driver Make Speed
1 Kyle Busch Toyota 138.387
2 Carl Edwards Toyota 137.515
3 Denny Hamlin Toyota 137.426
4 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 137.394
5 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 137.174
6 Matt Kenseth Toyota 137.174
7 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 137.033
8 Martin Truex, Jr. Toyota 136.934
9 Joey Logano Ford 136.773
10 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Ford 136.752
11 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 136.555
12 Ryan Blaney Ford 136.307
13 Greg Biffle Ford 137.247
14 Aric Almirola Ford 137.216
15 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 137.091
16 Paul Menard Chevrolet 137.028
17 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 136.971
18 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 136.893
19 Brad Keselowski Ford 136.851
20 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 136.576
21 Trevor Bayne Ford 136.503
22 A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 136.488
23 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 136.395
24 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet ---
25 Casey Mears Chevrolet 135.537
26 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet 135.527
27 Landon Cassill Ford 135.394
28 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 135.369
29 David Ragan Toyota 135.206
30 Brian Scott Ford 134.917
31 Regan Smith Chevrolet 134.514
32 Chris Buescher Ford 134.429
33 Michael McDowell Chevrolet 134.068
34 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 133.670
35 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 133.072
36 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 132.895
37 Josh Wise Chevrolet 132.797
38 Michael Annett Chevrolet 132.768
39 Joey Gase Ford 132.543