Published 7:29 p.m. ET Nov. three, 2017 | Updated eight:19 p.m. ET Nov. three, 2017
USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Hembree previews the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
USA TODAY Sports
Kurt Busch celebrates the pole place at Texas.(Photo: Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports)
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kurt Busch went sooner than anybody has ever gone in NASCAR Cup qualifying on a 1½-mile monitor. While out of championship rivalry and unsure who he’ll drive for subsequent season, he’s nonetheless attempting to win races.
“The sensation of speed is, it’s unbelievable,” Busch mentioned.
Busch averaged a file 200.915 mph on his solely lap within the ultimate spherical of qualifying Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. The Stewart-Haas driver was in one of many 5 vehicles that broke the 200-mph mark, with Denny Hamlin qualifying second and the best of the remaining championship contenders.
“Development, that’s the biggest thing. That’s just the biggest thing,” Hamlin mentioned, when requested in regards to the excessive qualifying speeds. “And trust me, I don’t know of any driver that is comfortable running at the speed where running right now. Kevin Harvick walked by and as soon as that was over, he said, ‘I’m glad that is over.’ It’s crazy speed.”
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The high 5 all surpbaded the earlier qualifying file on the monitor, Tony Stewart’s 200.111 mph earlier than the autumn race three years in the past.
Hamlin certified at 200.617 mph, with the others going over 200 mph on the high-banked monitor being Harvick (200.372 mph), Erik Jones (200.326 mph) and Kyle Busch (200.252 mph). Hamlin, Harvick and Kyle Busch, the one driver locked right into a title shot at Homestead, are all championship contenders.
Martin Truex Jr., main in factors, certified seventh at 199.431 mph, immediately forward of fellow title contenders Ryan Blaney (199.380 mph), Jimmie Johnson (198.727 mph) and Brad Keselowski (198.478 mph) within the eighth by way of 10th spots.
The solely championship contender beginning outdoors the highest 10 was Chase Elliott, who was amongst seven drivers who did not make any qualifying laps after not making it by way of tech inspection in time. He will begin 34th on Sunday.
Harvick clearly made it by way of inspection, although it was a rush to get by way of the primary spherical of the three-stage qualifying.
“This is a little bit of a nerve-wracking lap because it is so fast,” Harvick mentioned. “For me, my heart rate has been up since I started because of the anxiety of getting in the car late, not having time to prep yourself getting in and calm down and then you get in there and it is just lap after lap, but it worked out fine.”
Kurt Busch mentioned he noticed outdated good friend Friday who had his two sons with him. The two boys had been in awe of the environment on pit highway when Busch winked at them and gave a prophetic phrase.
“I said, ‘It’s going to be over 200 miles per hour today.’ And they were like, ‘Woah,’ and then I was able to back it up,” Busch mentioned. “So I feel impressed.”
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