Nascar

Kyle Busch earns second consecutive Monster Energy Series pole

Kyle Busch won the pole for Sundays Pocono 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race (FS1, 1:30 p.m. ET) at Pocono Raceway, earning his second consecutive No. 1 qualifying slot and 21st of his career.

Its all about the speed our guys have been bringing to the race track, said Busch, who qualified at 179.151 miles per hour in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Its only going to get more hot and slick.

And for the second week in a row, Martin Truex Jr. qualified second in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota, so hell start on the outside of Row 1 after posting a speed of 178.543 mph around the three-turn, 2.5-mile Pocono track.

Buschs JGR teammate, Matt Kenseth, qualified third, followed by Ryan Blaney in the Wood Brothers Racing Ford and defending race-winner Kurt Busch in his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

The biggest surprise of qualifying was the poor performance by the Hendrick Motorsports squad, as Chase Elliott (25th), Kasey Kahne (26th) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (28th) all failed to make it out of the first round. Earnhardt missed a shift and broke an engine in practice, so hell start last.

Even seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson could do no better than to qualify 19th. Very frustrating, said Johnson, who won last week at Dover.

Sundays race is the 14th of 26 in the Cup regular season. Truex comes into the race as the points leader ahead of Kyle Larson (-9), Kevin Harvick (-116) and Kyle Busch (-129). Truex and Team Penskes Brad Keselowski have two wins each, while seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson is the only driver with three victories so far this season.

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Monster Energy Series qualifying results for the Pocono 400

Matthew T. Thacker | Matthew T. Thacker LAT Images www.latphoto.co.uk