Kyle Busch takes All-Star pole

Kyle Busch and his Joe Gibbs crew were the fastest to complete three flying laps and a four-tyre pitstop to take pole in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch takes All-Star pole

Fans had to get used to seeing Busch's name at the top of the charts, as he not only took pole for the weekend's main event, but also for the supporting Craftsman Truck Series race.

Busch set an aggregate time of 2:01.956 at an average speed of 132.853 mph - including a four-tyre pitstop - to claim his first ever pole in the Sprint All-Star Challenge.

"I'm surprised, I thought I got busted speeding there. If it wasn't it was that close - very close," said Busch. "Man, I can't thank these guys enough at Joe Gibbs Racing. Steve Addington (crew chief) and all these guys that work on this do such an awesome job for me. That thing is humming this weekend.

"If (Kevin) Harvick thought the Toyota had motors before, watch out now because we're coming big time. This stuff's nice. We just keep clicking them off and keep going. It's obviously paying off really, really well."

Busch was the last driver to complete his run among the 21 already guaranteed a start in Saturday's event. He knocked his former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon off pole by nearly half a second, after the four-time champion's effort had looked unbeatable.

"Certainly knew that Kyle was going to be tough to beat," Gordon said. "We felt like he would be faster than us on the track. Of course you know he's going to be aggressive getting on to pit road and those are the areas that he beat us.

"So congratulations to those guys and we're going to be real happy and thrilled with our outside front row start. It's been a while since we've been there."

Kurt Busch will line up third, alongside DEI's Martin Truex Jr, while the third row of the grid will be all Roush-Fenway with Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray taking fifth and sixth.

Pre-race favourite Carl Edwards didn't have a good qualifying while reigning champion and former All-Star winner Jimmie Johnson had trouble in the pits and eventually didn't even set a time.

Meanwhile Gillett Evernham's Elliot Sadler claimed pole position for the Sprint Showdown. Brian Vickers, whose team won the Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday, will start beside him on the front row in the 40-lap event that will give the top two finishers a spot in the field for the main race.

"With a 40-lap shoot-out format that we have, track position is everything," said Sadler. "We focused hard here at the test to get our car to qualify good and race good. We definitely want to race our way in. It would mean a lot to me to do that.

"I just want to be a part of the big show (All-Star Race). It's a great race to be a part of. No points involved and just racing very, very hard. I'm just looking forward to tomorrow; it should be a great day."

Sam Hornish Jr was best among the rookies in the Showdown qualifying, while Patrick Carpentier spun on his first lap and will start from the last row of the grid to try to make it into the main event.

All-Star race starting order:

Pos  Driver            Car        Speed    Time
 1. Kyle Busch         Toyota     132.835  2:01.956
 2. Jeff Gordon        Chevrolet  132.251  2:02.494  + 0.538
 3. Kurt Busch         Dodge      131.539  2:03.157  + 1.201
 4. Martin Truex Jr    Chevrolet  131.357  2:03.328  + 1.372
 5. Greg Biffle        Ford       131.274  2:03.406  + 1.450
 6. Jamie McMurray     Ford       131.139  2:03.533  + 1.577
 7. Jeff Burton        Chevrolet  130.825  2:03.830  + 1.874
 8. Ryan Newman        Dodge      130.457  2:04.179  + 2.223
 9. Clint Bowyer       Chevrolet  130.342  2:04.288  + 2.332
10. Bobby Labonte      Dodge      130.011  2:04.605  + 2.649
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr  Chevrolet  129.939  2:04.674  + 2.718
12. Tony Stewart       Toyota     129.791  2:04.816  + 2.860
13. Mark Martin        Chevrolet  129.525  2:05.072  + 3.116
14. Matt Kenseth       Ford       128.615  2:05.957  + 4.001
15. Juan Montoya       Dodge      127.416  2:07.143  + 5.187
16. Kevin Harvick      Chevrolet  126.679  2:07.882  + 5.926
17. Casey Mears        Chevrolet  124.645  2:09.969  + 8.013
18. Dale Jarrett       Toyota     123.157  2:11.539  + 9.583
19. Carl Edwards       Ford       111.310  2:25.539  + 23.583
20. Denny Hamlin       Toyota     102.796  2:37.594  + 35.638
21. Jimmie Johnson     Chevrolet  -         -

Showdown starting order:

Pos  Driver              Car        Speed    Time
 1.  Elliott Sadler      Dodge      185.014  29.187
 2.  Brian Vickers       Toyota     184.786  29.223  + 0.036
 3.  David Ragan         Ford       184.584  29.255  + 0.068
 4.  AJ Allmendinger     Toyota     184.432  29.279  + 0.092
 5.  Robby Gordon        Dodge      184.024  29.344  + 0.157
 6.  Dave Blaney         Toyota     183.955  29.355  + 0.168
 7.  Joe Nemechek        Chevrolet  183.930  29.359  + 0.172
 8.  Sam Hornish Jr      Dodge      183.899  29.364  + 0.177
 9.  Scott Riggs         Chevrolet  183.817  29.377  + 0.190
10.  Travis Kvapil       Ford       183.699  29.396  + 0.209
11.  Johnny Sauter       Chevrolet  183.624  29.408  + 0.221
12.  Paul Menard         Chevrolet  183.331  29.455  + 0.268
13.  Reed Sorenson       Dodge      183.113  29.490  + 0.303
14.  Michael Waltrip     Toyota     183.100  29.492  + 0.305
15.  Kasey Kahne         Dodge      183.082  29.495  + 0.308
16.  David Gilliland     Ford       182.113  29.652  + 0.465
17.  David Reutimann     Toyota     182.002  29.670  + 0.483
18.  Chad McCumbee       Dodge      181.757  29.710  + 0.523
19.  Stanton Barrett     Chevrolet  181.720  29.716  + 0.529
20.  JJ Yeley            Toyota     181.629  29.731  + 0.544
21.  Bill Elliott        Ford       181.342  29.778  + 0.591
22.  Kyle Petty          Dodge      181.080  29.821  + 0.634
23.  Regan Smith         Chevrolet  180.989  29.836  + 0.649
24.  Tony Raines         Dodge      177.602  30.405  + 1.218
25.  Jeff Green          Chevrolet  176.488  30.597  + 1.410
26.  Carl Long           Dodge      169.763  31.809  + 2.622
27.  Patrick Carpentier  Dodge      147.820  36.531  + 7.344

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