Date: Sept. 29, 2012
Event: AAA 400 Qualifying (Round 29 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile concrete oval)
Pole Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (22.599 seconds at 159.299 mph)
Kyle Busch: 5th, 22.689 seconds at 158.667 mph
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), qualified fifth for the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday by turning a lap of 22.689 seconds at 158.667 mph during time trials Saturday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
“Our Interstate Batteries Camry was really good,” said Busch, who won at Dover in June 2008 and May 2010. “I just tried to get after it a little too much that first lap, and it stepped out on me. But I was able to have a good recovery and backed it up the second lap for a good time. I think we’ve definitely got a top-three car right now for tomorrow’s race.”
Busch’s JGR teammate Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Toyota Camry captured his 12th career Sprint Cup pole, his third of the season and his first at Dover by posting a lap of 22.599 seconds at 159.299 mph.
The third member of JGR, Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry, qualified 14th with a lap of 22.789 seconds at 157.971 mph. While Logano and Kevin Harvick both ran the exact same time, Harvick will start 13th as his eighth-place point standing gives him the tiebreaker. Logano is 18th in points.
Clint Bowyer will start on the outside of row one after turning a lap of 22.604 seconds at 159.264 mph. Martin Truex Jr. was third (22.613 seconds at 159.200 mph) while Sam Hornish Jr. (22.676 seconds at 158.758 mph) and Busch round out the top-five.
Forty-eight drivers attempted to qualify for the AAA 400. The drivers not making the cut in the 43-car field were Kelly Bires, Cole Whitt, Jason Leffler, David Stremme and Mike Bliss.
Toyota took the top spot among manufacturers via Hamlin’s pole run. Dodge was next-best at the hands of Hornish. Ford was the third-fastest make thanks to sixth-quick Greg Biffle (22.707 seconds at 158.541 mph), while Jeff Gordon carried the flag for Chevrolet with the seventh-quickest lap (22.721 seconds at 158.444 mph).
The AAA 400 gets underway at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.