Published May 02, 2016
Fort Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick gave Stewart-Haas Racing a front starting row sweep for the second time in three Sprint Cup Series races on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch, the driver of the No. 41 Chevrolet for SHR, turned a lap around this 1.5-mile racetrack at 193.847 mph during the final round of qualifying to claim the pole for Saturday night's Duck Commander 500. His lap time was just 0.018 seconds quicker than Harvick, his teammate and defending Sprint Cup champion.
It was Busch's 18th career pole in NASCAR's premier series. Three weeks ago, he won the pole while Harvick qualified second at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch missed the first three races this season due to a NASCAR suspension.
"Everything is so tight in qualifying," Busch said. "I wanted to run the same time each time out. With the track continuing to change, with the sun and the shade, then the track rubber built up, air pressures are changing and tires are dropping off, everybody (on the No. 41 team) chipped in."
Prior to last month's race in Fontana, Busch had not won a pole in the series in nearly two years.
"The second pole of the year feels good," he said. "Now we need to dial it in and get that long-run speed out of the car."
Busch scored his first pole in 25 starts at Texas. He won a Sprint Cup race here in November 2009.
It was the first time Harvick qualified on the front row at Texas.
"The car feels good," Harvick said. "We made one qualifying run (in practice held earlier in the day) and spent the second half of practice really concentrating on race runs and make sure we can run the long hauls. I feel really good about that."
Brad Keselowski qualified third, while Kasey Kahne, who turned 35 years old on Friday, grabbed the fourth position.
Jimmie Johnson, a record four-time race winner at Texas, and Joey Logano, who won this race one year ago, were fifth and sixth, respectively.
Finishing seventh through 12th in the third round of qualifying were: Ryan Newman, Paul Menard, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon.
Among those who did not make it out of the second round were: Martin Truex Jr. (qualified 15th), Carl Edwards (16th), Matt Kenseth (17th), Denny Hamlin (18th) and Danica Patrick (23rd).
Dale Earnhardt Jr. did not advance out of round one, qualifying 25th.
Brendan Gaughan and Jeb Burton failed to qualify.