Kyle Busch ran a track-record speed in edging his brother, Kurt, for the pole position Friday night for Saturday’s 500-mile Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kyle, who anticipated a strong qualifying run after practice, ran 196.299 miles per hour in whacking Brian Vickers’ track record of 196.235, set in 2006.
Qualifying: Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
The race will be the first at TMS for the Gen-6 race car.
Kurt Busch bounced back from a fiery – literally – Sunday at Martinsville Speedway last week to challenge for the TMS pole – and held it for a few minutes.
The elder Busch pulled a major surprise out of his helmet by sitting on the provisional pole with a near-record speed of 195.688.
He and Kyle will start on the front row for Saturday’s race, the first night event of the Sprint Cup season.
“We didn’t unload the best, but Dave (crew chief Dave Rogers) and the guys really used the whole tool back in getting this car ready,” Kyle said.
Saturday’s race will be his 300th Sprint Cup start.
Following in the top five were Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose and Martin Truex Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sixth.
Scott Riggs and Scott Speed failed to qualify for the race.
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 31 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.