Busch takes poll

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kurt Busch won the pole Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, putting him in perfect position for a season-sweep at his favorite race track.

Busch ran a qualifying lap at 124.906 mph to put his No. 2 Dodge out front for Saturday night’s race. He beat Jeff Burton, who turned a lap at 124.808 to qualify second.

“It was on the edge, and it was fast,” Busch said. “We’ve had a lot of good finishes here, but this is the best start we’ve ever had.”

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Busch has won five of the past nine races in Bristol, including the March event when he bumped former teammate Matt Kenseth out of his way to score the win. But he’s never started on the pole before — his previous best starting position was fifth in his 2003 victory when he drove for Roush Racing.

“I guess I’m teamed up with a group that can qualify now,” said Busch, who has three poles in his first season driving for Penske Racing South. “We’ve had some great runs this year and one of the best average starting positions at all the tracks so far.”

Bobby Labonte qualified third and was followed by Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart and rookie Denny Hamlin.

Kevin Harvick, Kyle Petty, Elliott Sadler and rookie Reed Sorenson rounded out the top 10.