FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kurt Busch earned the pole at Texas, going faster than anyone ever has gone in NASCAR Cup qualifying on a 1 1/2-mile track.
Busch averaged 200.915 mph on his only lap in the final round of qualifying Friday.
Five drivers surpassed the previous qualifying record at the track, Tony Stewart’s 200.111 mph before the fall race three years ago.
Denny Hamlin, one of the eight drivers still in contention for the season championship, qualified second at 200.617 mph. Kevin Harvick (200.372 mph), Erik Jones (200.326 mph) and Kyle Busch (200.252 mph) also averaged laps of more than 200 mph on the high-banked fast track.
Seven of the eight championship contenders will start in the top 10 spots. The only one that won’t is Chase Elliott, who was among seven drivers who didn’t make any qualifying laps after not making it through tech inspection in time. He will start 34th.