The Busch brothers will start on the front row for the second time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after younger brother Kyle set a Texas qualifying record with a lap of 196.299 mph Friday night.
That knocked Kurt off the pole, but not off the front row for tonight’s race.
“Not too shabby of a day. ... I feel like we have a good piece for the race,” Kyle Busch said. “It felt that good. Sometimes you feel that good and it’s not very fast.”
The 25th Sprint Cup race at the Texas speedway, which opened in 1997 and started playing host to two races a year in 2005, will be the first night race this season – and for the new Gen-6 cars.
Kyle Busch went almost immediately from the Cup qualifying run in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to climbing into his Nationwide car and starting second in that race.
It took that record qualifying lap by Kyle to knock Kurt Busch off the pole after his lap of 195.688 mph in his Chevrolet.
“A track record is a small feather in the cap,” Kurt Busch said. “The fact that it’s Kyle, I wouldn’t want to lose to anybody other than him, but it is bitter that I did lose to him.”
Series points leader Jimmie Johnson, who won at Texas last fall, starts seventh after a lap of 194.503 mph in his Chevrolet.
Richard Petty teammates Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose start their Fords in the second row.
Greg Biffle, who won at Texas last April, qualified 35th in his Ford after a lap of 190.921 mph.
“I was kind of tight in the middle of (turns) three and four and had to come out of the gas,” Biffle said. “I had a really, really fast car, but we’ll have to come from the back. It will be all right.”
The only time the Busch brothers started on the front row together was at Las Vegas in 2009, when Kyle also had the pole position and won that race. Kurt finished 23rd that day.
They have never finished 1-2 in a Sprint Cup race, but they came close at Texas.
Kurt Busch won the 2009 fall race at Texas, a weekend when Kyle was trying to win all three of NASCAR’s national series on the same weekend. Kyle ran out of fuel late and finished 11th.
“The two of us had the fastest two cars,” Kurt Busch said.
Kyle Busch has his second Cup pole this season, and the first in his career at Texas.
Kurt Busch’s best qualifying spot this season had been 10th at California, though he has two top-five finishes this season in the No. 78 owned by Barney Visser.
“Real happy with the way the car unloaded right off the truck,” Kurt Busch said. “For us to be second, outside pole, it’s a great achievement from where we had been in a few weeks past for qualifying.”