Loudon NASCAR: Kyle Busch stunned by strong qualifying pace

Kyle Busch said he was 'shocked' to be able to secure a front-row grid spot in NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Loudon

Loudon NASCAR: Kyle Busch stunned by strong qualifying pace

The 27-year-old, who missed out on a spot in this year's Chase by just three points at Chicagoland, flew to the top of the timesheets with a 28.265s mid-way through the session.

Having been 19th in practice, Busch then watched on as the rest of the field - barring eventual poleman Jeff Gordon - failed to beat his mark.

"I was actually shocked by the time we ran - and pleased at the same time," he said. "The effort was really good.

"Practice didn't quite go the way we wanted it to, we struggled early, [and] then we didn't get the draw we hoped for and had to go out early [in qualifying].

"The guys made some nice changes to get the car a lot better though and it reacted well, I was really fast.

"I was hoping it would hold up but Jeff had a really good draw right at the end and beat us by a little bit, but it's still good for track position to start at the front."

Following on from team owner Joe Gibbs' disappointment at Busch missing the Chase, he added: "[It makes it] a little bit more challenging, but that's a product of missing the Chase; it's what you get.

"It's our own fault - [missing] those three points that could have meant an awful lot throughout the season to get ourselves in the top spot."

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Series NASCAR
Author Sam Tremayne
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