Kyle Busch won his first career pole at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Friday with a lap in his Toyota at 129.535 mph, breaking Ryan Newman’s 10-year-old track record of 128.709.
Busch shredded the mark set by Newman, who had been the first driver to go under 15 seconds when he set the lap record. Busch was one of nine drivers to go under 15 seconds in qualifying and his time of 14.813 is the record.
Although a five-time Bristol winner, Busch had never qualified higher than ninth at the track.
Kasey Kahne qualified second in a Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports with a lap at 128.995.
Denny Hamlin was third at 128.960.
NASCAR driver Jeremy Clements is back at the track after a two-week suspension for using a racial slur and is hopeful the lapse in judgment hasn’t caused irreparable harm to his career.
Clements made the remark to a blogger for MTV News during an interview at Daytona. NASCAR suspended him indefinitely, but he was reinstated this week after seeing a sports diversity expert.
Hamlin felt ‘dissed’
Denny Hamlin felt NASCAR disrespected him by fining him for comments he made about the new race car without talking to him first.
Hamlin said he believes NASCAR would have come to him first if he was considered one of the sport’s top stars. Instead, he was slapped with a $25,000 fine for criticizing the Gen-6 car. His anger of the way it was handled led to his refusal to pay.
Formula One’s three-time reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel signaled he is the man to beat again in 2013 by setting the fastest times in both practice sessions for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.