Kyle Busch tops brother Kurt in Atlanta qualifying, gets DQd
The good news just keeps coming for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Well, sort of.
Five days after JGR won the Daytona 500 with Denny Hamlin and placed three drivers in the top five, the Toyota organization kept the pressure on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as Kyle Busch captured the pole for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (FOX, 12:30 p.m. ET).
However, Busch’s pole speed of 191.668 mph was disallowed after his car failed post-qualifying inspection because of an issue with the rear end, a NASCAR spokesman announced.
That means Kyle’s other brother, Kurt, will start on the inside of Row 1 in his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, while Kyle will start last on Sunday’s 39-car grid.
Now joining Kurt Busch on the front row will be Jamie McMurray. Trevor Bayne and Ryan Newman will move up to third and fourth on the grid, respectively.
Kyle Busch’s pole speed was just a tad faster than brother Kurt’s top lap of 191.582.
“I hope after 500 miles, we can be the guy in Victory Lane, and he’ll be the guy saying, ‘I wish we had a little bit more,’” Kurt said before it was announced that Kyle’s car had failed inspection.
Just missing the cut for the final, 12-driver round was Daytona 500 winner Hamlin.
Hamlin qualified 13th in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, but will move up a spot on the grid due to teammate Busch’s disqualification.
Also failing to make the third and final round was Dale Earnhardt Jr. (qualified 17th), Brad Keselowski (18th) and Jimmie Johnson (20th). Danica Patrick (26th) and Joey Logano (27th) missed the second round, failing to get into the top 24. Each of those drivers will also move up a spot with Busch’s disqualification.
All 39 drivers who made qualifying attempts will compete in Sunday’s race, which marks the debut of the Sprint Cup Series’ new low-downforce aerodynamic package for 2016.