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Kyle takes pole while Kurt answers back

Kyle Busch claimed pole position for Sunday's road course race at Watkins Glen International, while his brother Kurt fended off questions from the press about his clash with Jimmie Johnson.
Kyle Busch isn't one of the NASCAR drivers you would immediately think of as a road course specialist (128mph on public roads notwithstanding) but he broke the track record at the historic Watkins Glen International former F1 venue with a time of 69.767s (126.421mph) on the 2.45 mile, 11-turn road course. It's Busch's eighth pole position in the Cup series, but surprisingly his first of 2011.

"It's cool to come out here and get a pole," said Busch said. "Joey got it in Sonoma, we got it here, so [Joe Gibbs Racing] swept the poles this year on the road courses. Hopefully we can get a win here Sunday."

While Joey Logano claimed a respectable 13th place at the Glen, JGR's other driver Denny Hamlin was less fortunate and hit the wall at turn 5, putting him at the back of the grid.

Despite feeling that he has "screwed up a little bit here, a little bit there" in his qualifying lap, Kyle's time was 0.210s ahead of AJ Allmendinger who will start alongside him on the front row for Sunday afternoon's 'Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen' Cup race.

"I've always liked Watkins Glen a little bit more than Sonoma; I feel like I've struggled at Sonoma," admitted Allmendinger. "Watkins Glen is a race track that you've really got to be aggressive on and you can really kind of just hang the car out, and I feel I've always been pretty good here ... If we can build some momentum and get a good finish tomorrow, we're right there in points."

Behind them in third place is Allmendinger's team mate, road specialist Marcos Ambrose, who has one of the best records of any driver at the Glen with one second place and two third place finishes in Cup races and three wins in four starts in Nationwide. It represents the Tasmanian's best chance of getting through to the Chase if he can score his first-ever Cup series win here and make a run for one of the wildcard berths.

Ambrose would have preferred to have started even further forward: “I felt a little unfortunate really," he said. "We had a probably had the hardest part of the practice and I underdrove it just a little bit, but we're proud of our efforts. It would have been great to be on the front row with AJ."

Jimmie Johnson will start alongside Ambrose on the second row, with Juan Montoya and Ryan Newman right behind them in fifth and sixth. Former Glen winner Tony Stewart starts from seventh alongside Carl Edwards, while Kevin Harvick is back in 23rd and former F1 driver Scott Speed is starting from 29th.

After clinching the Nationwide Series race pole shortly before, Kurt Busch will be disappointed to only be starting from 27th on the grid. Earlier, during Saturday morning media appearances, Kurt had to tackle the withering verbal onslaught directed at him from Jimmie Johnson on Friday. He decided to take the high ground in the conflict.




Related Pictures

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Kurt Busch, driver of the #22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge, poses after qualifying for the pole position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Busch broke the track qualifying record with a fast lap of 123.241 mph (71.567 secs.) [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, poses in Victory Lane after qualifying for the pole position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Busch broke the track qualifying record with a fast lap of 126.421 mph (69.767 secs.) [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, races to the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Plaid Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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