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CONCORD, N.C. – Kyle Busch has won the pole for Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Joe Gibbs Racing could surge into the championship race.
Busch qualified first for JGR with a lap at 197.390 mph in Thursday qualifying to put his Toyota in the top starting spot. Jeff Gordon failed to bump Busch for the pole, turning a lap at 197.217 for Hendrick Motorsports. Gibbs driver Denny Hamlin qualified third.
Five drivers racing for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship failed to advance to the final round of qualifying. Neither Joey Logano or Brad Keselowski advanced, and Keselowski needs a strong run to avoid elimination.
Also off in qualifying was six-time and defending NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, who is ranked last in the 12-driver Chase field.