By not pushing too hard, Busch was really fast. His run of 133.417 mph was just enough to win the pole for Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
Busch had the quickest speed in practice, which allowed him to qualify last.
Once he knew what he needed to win his first pole since last August, he didn’t push his car any harder than he needed.
“I thought I missed it a little bit,” Busch said. “It was decent, it was a good lap for us, but I thought I was probably going to be third or fourth.”
Busch didn’t push hard until he came through the final turn. His car drifted an inch from the outside wall, but he managed to keep it straight for the fastest lap of the session.
“I don’t think we touched,” he said. “I didn’t feel it, so if anything it was really, really close. I just knew that I got in the throttle really early in (Turns) 3 and 4 trying to make speed and was able to finish it, but the car slipped right at the last second.”
Kasey Kahne qualified second at 133.403 mph, while Denny Hamlin was third.
The rest of the top 10 is Martin Truex Jr. in fourth, Clint Bowyer in fifth, Ryan Newman in sixth, Jimmie Johnson in seventh, Jeff Gordon in eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in ninth and Tony Stewart in 10th.
Greg Biffle suffered damaged to his No. 16 Ford although he was going less than 1 mph and was 50 yards away from the track.
Biffle backed into a generator cart as he left his garage stall for a practice session.
His team made quick repairs, and he went on to qualify 11th.