Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Kyle Busch earns Sprint Cup pole at New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch went from upside down to top of the field.

Busch continued the season-long trend of track record qualifying speeds, turning a lap of 138.130 mph Friday to win the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It's the second pole of the season for Busch, who will be joined on the front row by reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson for Sunday's Camping World 301.

Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray completed the top five. Tampa's Aric Almirola, coming off of his first career sprint Cup victory on Sunday at Daytona, starts 19th.

Busch starts first a week after he rolled over at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400. He was involved in a 25-car wreck and was flipped in his No. 18 Toyota.

"I thought it was a little bit tight but I guess I was driving through it enough that it was still carrying good speed," Busch said. "Lap felt good. It didn't feel that good, but it felt good."

Morgan Shepherd, 72, made the race when a 44th entry dropped out, putting him in the field automatically. In the No. 33 Chevrolet, he'll extend his mark as the oldest driver to start a race in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series.

RTA reaction: NASCAR president Mike Helton said there is no animosity from the governing body toward the recently formed, nine-team Race Team Alliance that will collaborate on initiatives and issues facing auto racing. The goals of the RTA include lowering costs for NASCAR teams and creating one voice on issues facing the teams. The RTA includes Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway, Stewart-Haas, Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports,

IndyCar: Scott Dixon earned the pole for tonight's Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. The defending series champion ran a lap of 186.256 mph on the 0.875-mile oval, edging Chip Ganassi teammate Tony Kanaan. Series co-leader Helio Castroneves starts third and the other co-leader, Will Power, starts ninth.

Trucks: Erik Jones led for 131 of 200 laps and won the NASCAR Trucks series race in Iowa, giving Kyle Busch Motorsports its seventh win in nine races this season. It's the second career win for the 18-year-old Jones, and the sixth victory of 2014 for the No. 51 truck.

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Published: 12/13/17