Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kyle Busch on Pole

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kyle Busch on Pole

Article excerpt

Kyle Busch has seen it time and again at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

Driving down pit road, heading back onto the track and in contention for the lead, Busch is used to seeing the pole-sitter gun the engine just off the jack and reassume the race lead.

Busch hopes to finally get to experience that for himself Sunday at Martinsville Speedway after earning the pole on NASCAR's smallest, tightest track for the first time in 19 career starts

The pole is Busch's 14th.

In an interesting twist under NASCAR's new knockout qualifying system, Busch won it while Joey Logano set a track record. That came at 100.201 mph in the first phase of two-session qualifying. All 44 cars competed in the 30-minute first session, and the top 12 moved into the 10-minute phase two.

Denny Hamlin earned the No. 2 starting spot with a lap at 99.548 mph, and will be followed on the starting grid by Logano and Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.


Mercedes confirmed it was the team to beat at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang by setting the fastest times in both practice sessions, although its Formula One rivals were closer than expected. Nico Rosberg, coming off his win at the season-opening race in Australia, was fastest in the second session and overall with a time of 1:39.909 around the Sepang International Circuit, exceeding Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen by three-hundredths of a second. Raikkonen, who struggled in Melbourne, also was second-fastest in the morning session behind Rosberg's Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton.


No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic advanced to the Sony Open final in Key Biscayne, Fla., without playing a point. Both received walkovers when their semifinal opponents withdrew for health reasons. Kei Nishikori withdrew against Djokovic because of a left groin injury and, four hours later, Tomas Berdych pulled out before his match against Nadal due to gastroenteritis. …

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