Kurt Busch Wins O’Reilly 500 Pole in Weather Shortened Qualifying Session at Texas

Written by Adrian Beecher
NO LIMITS, TX – Kurt Busch in the No. 41 Monster Energy Haas Automation Ford captured his third career pole at Texas Motor Speedway after weather-shortened qualifying.

In the first and only practice ahead of qualifying, Kurt Busch was the fastest on the track, recording a time of 27.523 seconds, coming in at an average of 196.200 mph. Points leader Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Busch Lite Ford.

This stayed synchronized in round one of qualifying as Kurt posted a 27.360-second lap time for the top spot, while Harvick came in with a  27.395 in 2nd. Claiming the 24th and final spot in round one was Jamie McMurray in the No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet, bumping Ryan Newman in the No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet, who will start Sunday’s race in 25th.

Before the 2nd round could get underway, lightning in the area would stall the start of round two. NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway officials cleared the track and grandstands due to the weather as everyone waited with great anticipation to see if we could get back underway.

Unfortunately for the fans, and the other drivers vying for the pole position, the weather would not hold off and forced NASCAR and track officials to cancel the rest of qualifying and call the field complete and set. This sealed the pole for Kurt Busch.

“The thought that weather was in our area hadn’t crossed our mind. But you’ve got to play all three rounds as smart as you can. So we went a little bit aggressive in that first round, and it paid off.” said Busch of a successful first round of qualifying.

His teammates Kevin Harvick (second) and Clint Bowyer (third) rounded out the top three for qualifying. It marks the first time in the history of Stewart-Haas Racing will start a cup race 1,2,3.

Touching base with the young guns briefly, Bubba Wallace was the top qualifying rooking, coming in the 15th position. The only other rookie in the field for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 is William Byron, qualified 33rd, but will start at the back of the field due to an engine change.

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