CLICK: Full qualifying results from Phoenix International Raceway
Kyle Busch dominated qualifying for Saturday's DAV 200 Nationwide Series at Phoenix International Raceway, topping both rounds and breaking his own qualifying record at the one-mile tri-oval on his way to securing his seventh pole position of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing and his 43rd pole in 295 series starts, seven of them at Phoenix alone.
Busch's best time of the session came in the first 30-minute round when he posted a lap of 26.783s (134.414mph) to break the previous qualifying record (134.298mph) that he had himself set back in February 2011. His lap in the second pole shoot-out round was slightly slower on the now-worn tyres but still clocked in at a suitably impressive 26.873s (133.963mph).
That had been enough to put Busch eighth thousandths of a second ahead of his fellow Cup regular Brad Keselowski, who had also been the runner-up in the earlier session. It's Keselowski's ninth top-ten start of 2014 and his 11th in 16 races at Phoenix, and means the Penske driver will join Busch on the front row for the green flag for the start of the 200-lap race which gets underway at 2pm local time (9pm GMT).
Also very consistent throughout the session was 18-year-old Erik Jones driving the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing entry, who was third quickest behind Busch and Keselowski in both rounds in only his third start in the Nationwide Series. Jones had earlier claimed victory in last night's Camping World Truck Series race for Kyle Busch Motorsports; he will race full time in Trucks next season and also have around ten outings with JGR in the XFINITY Series (the new name for NASCAR's second-tier championship in 2015.)
Lining up alongside Jones for today's start will be the third JGR team member Elliott Sadler, who is looking much more like his old self after having to drop out of last week's race due to a severe stomach bug that left him seriously dehydrated and unable to continue.
JR Motorsport's Alex Bowman will start from fifth place alongside his team mate Regan Smith, who is currently in second place in the Nationwide championship standings to the third member of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team, 18 year-old Chase Elliott, who could close out the title this weekend if everything comes together. If he can, then Elliott will become the youngest driver to win a NASCAR national series title. He'll start from tenth place on today's grid.
Also making it through to the top 12 shoot-out were Richard Childress Racing's Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan and Brian Scott, who will take up sequential positions on the grid ahead of Elliott in seventh, eighth and ninth positions; Kyle Larson qualified in 11th place for Turner Scott Motorsports putting him alongside Trevor Bayne in the Roush Fenway Racing #6 in 12th spot.
Narrowly missing out on making it through from the first round of qualifying were Bayne's team mate Chris Buescher and TSM's Dylan Kwasniewski who will take up 13th and 14th positions respectively on the seventh row of the grid, just ahead of Ryan Reed (RFR) and James Buescher (RAB Racing).
The Motorsports Group's Ryan Ellis was the sole driver to fail to make the grid for the afternoon race in the #46 Chevrolet.
Full qualifying results from Phoenix International Raceway
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