Auto notes: Kyle Busch wins pole for Sprint Cup race at Loudon
Kyle Busch continued the season-long trend of track-record qualifying speeds, turning a lap of 138.130 mph Friday to win the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
It’s the second pole of the season for Busch, who will be joined on the front row by reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.
Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray completed the top five.
Points leader Jeff Gordon starts 11th. Daytona winner Aric Almirola starts 19th.
It was the 13th track record set this season.
Busch had a pair of runner-up finishes last season at New Hampshire. He has one career win at the track.
The 72-year-old Morgan Shepherd made the race when a 44th entry dropped out, putting him in the field. In the No. 33 Chevrolet, he’ll extend his mark as the oldest driver to start a race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series.
He made his Cup debut in 1970 and won four times in NASCAR’s top series. He finished as high as fifth in the final standings in 1990 and hadn’t started a Cup race since 2006. He last ran a full season in 1996.
Erik Jones led for 131 of 200 laps and won the NASCAR Truck series race at Newton, Iowa, giving Kyle Busch Motorsports its seventh win in nine races this season.
It’s the second career win for the 18-year-old Jones, and the sixth victory of 2014 for the No. 51 truck.
Ryan Blaney was second, followed by Matt Crafton, Joey Coulter and German Quiroga Jr.
Crafton took the points lead from Johnny Sauter.
Scott Dixon will start from the pole for today’s IndyCar race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton.
Dixon will be joined on the top line by Target Chip Ganassi teammate Tony Kanaan following single-car qualifying.
Helio Castroneves will start third, followed by Ryan Briscoe, Carlos Munoz and Sebastien Bourdais.
Team Penske has three of the top four drivers in the points chase with co-leaders Castroneves and Will Power and last week’s winner, Juan Pablo Montoya. But Penske has never won in seven starts at Iowa, while Andretti Autosport drivers have won four straight on Iowa’s short track.