FORT WORTH, Texas — Kurt Busch went quicker than anybody has ever gone in NASCAR Cup qualifying on a 1½-mile observe. While out of championship competition and unsure whom he’ll drive for subsequent season, he’s nonetheless making an attempt to win races.
“The sensation of speed is, it’s unbelievable,” Busch stated.
Busch averaged a report 200.915 mph on his solely lap within the remaining spherical of qualifying Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. The Stewart-Haas driver was in one of many 5 automobiles 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 stated, 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 we’re 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.”
The prime 5 all surpbaded the earlier qualifying report on the observe, 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 observe 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 via 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 via tech inspection in time. He will begin 34th on Sunday.
Harvick clearly made it via inspection, although it was a rush to get via the primary spherical of the three-stage qualifying.
“This is a little bit of a nerve-wracking lap because it is so fast,” Harvick stated. “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Kurt Busch stated he noticed an outdated buddy Friday who had his two sons with him. The two boys have 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 stated. “So I feel impressed.”