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Press Snoop: Busch takes Infineon pole.

KURT BUSCH/#2 Miller Lite Dodge has the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Dodge/Save Mart 350 race at Infineon Raceway with a lap of 76.987/93.055 mph. This is his fifth pole in 200 Cup races. The Qualifying Track Record is still held by JEFF GORDON/#24 Dupont, whose 2005 lap was 75.950/94.325 mph. Gordon qualified eleventh.

Busch was complimentary of his crew chief and team for getting the setups right for the ever changing track conditions. "There's a little bit of Rusty in this car, but there's a whole lot of ROY McCAULEY (referring to his Crew Chief, in his first year as a Cup Chief). If I can drive half the candle that Rusty held, we'll be all right."

Busch said he liked the ringers, (which he called hired guns,) "coming over to our series and what's really scary these guys continue to develop and get better.

Busch admitted that a recent article in GQ, stating he was one of top ten most hated athletes, wasn't the reason but was a catalyst in his moving forward with image-building efforts such as lots of public appearances and starting his charitable foundation. Busch presents differently these days, with his starched white shirts, and his clean-cut appearance.

JAMIE McMURRAY/#26 Crown Royal Ford was second fastest, followed by KEVIN HARVICK/#29 GM Goodwrench Dodge.

RYAN NEWMAN/#12 Alltel Dodge was fourth fastest.

The top Road Racing Ringer was BORIS SAID/#60 Sobe-No Fear Ford in fifth place. He was pretty happy and put in a good word for his energy drink sponsor, saying "We're going to clip the wings off that bull" referring to a rival energy drink.

The welcome breeze cooled the weather down to a tolerable 87 degrees F, with a track temperature of 122 degrees F.

There were mixed results for the other Ringers. P.J. JONES/#4 AERO Exhaust Chevrolet was fifteenth fastest. RON FELLOWS/#32 Tide Chevrolet was seventeenth.

SCOTT PRUETT/#40 Coors Light Dodge will start twenty-seventh, perhaps not as well as he expected. More bad news for him - the top three Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes were disqualified at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for failing post-qualifying technical inspection. This means Pruett and co-driver LUIS DIAZ/#1 CompUSA Lexus Riley will start at the back instead of on the front row. All three cars were Riley chassis and disqualified for being one mm too wide - the width of three sheets of paper. PATRICK LONG/#23 Alex Job Racing Crawford Porsche DP will start on pole, with ALEX GURNEY/#99 GAINSCO Riley Pontiac will be with him on the front row. Former Pole Sitter, teenaged COLIN BRAUN/#76 Krohn Racing Ford Riley said "It will make for a fun race."

TOM HUBERT/#27 Chevrolet was thirtieth, followed by DAVID GILLILAND/#72 Dutch Quality Stone Dodge qualified thirty-first, good enough for him to make the field. Gilliland, who has won races in the NASCAR Winston West Series and won the 2005 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway, has DOUG GEORGE as his crew chief. George was the 1995 Winston West Champion and 1990 NASCAR Southwest Tour champion.

TERRY LABONTE/#96 DLP Chevrolet was thirty-eighth.

Those not making the cut included JOHNNY MILLER/#34 Oak Gloves Chevrolet; CHRIS COOK/#49 DSI Dodge; TRAVIS KVAPIL/#78 Furniture; STANTON BARRETT/#95 Interush Chevrolet; and BRIAN SIMO/#61 Sobe-No Fear Chevrolet.

Saturday there will be two more Nextel Cup practices. The West Series will race, as will the two SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge classes.


Related Pictures

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Brian Vickers, driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, answers questions from media during a press conference before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. Vickers was forced to withdraw from competition due to blood clots. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in third place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS finishes in second place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, climbs into his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS celebrates with his team after winning the Pole position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch is 33rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS won the Pole position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch is 33rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses for a photo with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the pole during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 2nd position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, won the pole position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS on the front row. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, speaks during a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, speaks to the media during a press conference after failing to advance to race for the championship in the season finale after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, speaks to the media after failing to advance to race for the championship in the season finale after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DAV 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch celebrates pole position at Phoenix International Raceway. November 8 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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