When any NASCAR series travels to Bristol Motor Speedway, everyone automatically says Kyle Busch is the guy to beat. He once again lived up to that hype on Friday afternoon in qualifying for the Food City 300.
Busch turned in a lap of 125.142 mph to score his fifth pole of the season and his fourth career pole at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is also his 41st career Nationwide Series pole.
Busch will be driving the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.The No. 54 is currently second in owner’s points, 21 points behind the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford, driven this week by Ryan Blaney, who qualified second. Blaney posted a lap of 124.339 mph edging out Kyle Larson, who qualified third.
With Busch, Blaney and Larson locking down the top three spots, it is a recipe for excitement. Blaney will be pushing hard to hold or extend the owner’s points lead over the No. 54 of Busch. Larson and Busch have a fantastic history at Bristol as they were involved in one of the most exciting finishes in Nationwide Series history.
All three drivers perform well at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile nestled in the hills of northeast Tennessee. Busch has won the last three races here, Larson has three starts and three top-five finishes, and Blaney has two starts with two top-10s.
Points leader, Chase Elliott, will take the green in fourth in his NAPA Chevrolet. Elliott Sadler rounds out the top five in the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota.
Milka Duno will have to wait to make her NASCAR debut. Duno ran 48 laps in the first round of qualifying, but only managed a lap of 116.566 mph, almost two mph slower than the 40th place qualifier.
Other notables: Ty Dillon 7th, Regan Smith 8th , Kevin Harvick 13th, Chris Buescher 23rd
The green falls on the Food City 300 at 7:30 pm local time.