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Cup - Pocono - Qualifying and practice

Kurt Busch confirmed Penske's resurgence by claiming his second consecutive pole position, and will start the 5-Hour Energy 500 alongside Paul Menard on the front row at Pocono Raceway.
Just a few weeks ago, Kurt Busch was venting his frustration for all to hear over the Penske team radio, pleading with the team to put aside their data readouts and listen to him for once. Turned out they have done just that - and driver and team are now reaping the rewards.

Busch put the #22 on pole position for the second straight week, claiming the top spot for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway. The last (and only) time he claimed consecutive poles was back in 2006 at Bristol and Fontana. And he did it this time despite crashing on Friday so badly that he had to take to the back-up car on Saturday.

"It's a matter of knowing where the edge is - but not stepping over it,” Busch said, who also crashed last week in practice before going onto to claim pole. "[This Friday], honestly, I missed my shift point, and it got me into trouble."

Paul Menard will start alongside him, while a dangerous second row line-up consists of Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin, both of whom are likely to make early plays for the lead once the race gets underway at 1pm ET (6pm BST) on Sunday.

Carl Edwards will start from sixth place, having been hoping that qualifying might be rained off as he had set the fastest time in practice on Friday. Instead, overcast conditions meant there was little difference in track temperature from start of qualifying until the end, so even running last on track today had little adverse effect in the end.

Jimmie Johnson will start from 14th just ahead of Tony Stewart and Juan Montoya, while Kurt's team mate Brad Keselowski starts from 20th just ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 21st. Sam Hornish Jr. qualified in 26th on his first Cup race of the season, while Kyle Busch starts from a very poor 34th position on the grid. The only car not to qualify was Mike Skinner, who crashed during his qualifying run; Scott Wimmer made the field based on owner points.

Qualifying times

1. #22 Kurt Busch Dodge 52.454s (Leader) 171.579mph
2. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 52.502s (-0.048) 171.422mph
3. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 52.524s (-0.070) 171.350mph
4. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 52.578s (-0.124) 171.174mph
5. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 52.581s (-0.127) 171.165mph
6. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 52.614s (-0.160) 171.057mph
7. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 52.682s (-0.228) 170.836mph
8. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 52.776s (-0.322) 170.532mph
9. #00 David Reutimann Toyota 52.833s (-0.379) 170.348mph
10. #5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 52.879s (-0.425) 170.200mph
11. #6 David Ragan Ford 52.886s (-0.432) 170.177mph
12. #33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 52.902s (-0.448) 170.126mph
13. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 52.970s (-0.516) 169.908mph
14. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 52.981s (-0.527) 169.872mph
15. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 52.986s (-0.532) 169.856mph
16. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 53.034s (-0.580) 169.702mph
17. #4 Kasey Kahne Toyota 53.044s (-0.590) 169.671mph
18. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 53.064s (-0.610) 169.607mph
19. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 53.091s (-0.637) 169.520mph
20. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 53.097s (-0.643) 169.501mph
21. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 53.114s (-0.660) 169.447mph
22. #46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 53.115s (-0.661) 169.444mph
23. #83 Brian Vickers Toyota 53.116s (-0.662) 169.441mph
24. #71 Andy Lally* Ford 53.138s (-0.684) 169.370mph
25. #51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 53.158s (-0.704) 169.307mph
26. #38 Sam Hornish Jr. Ford 53.167s (-0.713) 169.278mph
27. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford 53.184s (-0.730) 169.224mph
28. #43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 53.199s (-0.745) 169.176mph
29. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 53.201s (-0.747) 169.170mph
30. #34 David Gilliland Ford 53.217s (-0.763) 169.119mph
31. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 53.219s (-0.765) 169.113mph
32. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 53.228s (-0.774) 169.084mph
33. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 53.276s (-0.822) 168.932mph
34. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 53.289s (-0.835) 168.890mph
35. #13 Casey Mears Toyota 53.360s (-0.906) 168.666mph
36. #66 Michael McDowell Toyota 53.502s (-1.048) 168.218mph
37. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 53.644s (-1.190) 167.773mph
38. #37 Tony Raines Ford 53.765s (-1.311) 167.395mph
39. #181 Scott Riggs Chevrolet 53.807s (-1.353) 167.264mph
40. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 53.874s (-1.420) 167.057mph
41. #32 Mike Bliss Ford 53.935s (-1.481) 166.867mph
42. #7 Scott Wimmer+ Dodge 55.414s (-2.960) 162.414mph
43. #150 T.J. Bell* Toyota 54.011s (-1.557) 166.633mph

Did Not Qualify

44. #60 Mike Skinner Toyota 54.578s (-2.124) 164.902mph

Friday Practice 2 times

1. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 54.176s (Leader) 166.125 mph
2. #83 Brian Vickers Toyota 54.195s (-0.019) 166.067 mph
3. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 54.207s (-0.031) 166.030 mph
4. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 54.241s (-0.065) 165.926 mph
5. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 54.315s (-0.139) 165.700 mph
6. #5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 54.343s (-0.167) 165.615 mph
7. #00 David Reutimann Toyota 54.363s (-0.187) 165.554 mph
8. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 54.371s (-0.195) 165.529 mph
9. #22 Kurt Busch Dodge 54.395s (-0.219) 165.456 mph
10. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 54.414s (-0.238) 165.399 mph
11. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 54.437s (-0.261) 165.329 mph
12. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 54.445s (-0.269) 165.304 mph
13. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 54.505s (-0.329) 165.122 mph
14. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 54.508s (-0.332) 165.113 mph
15. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 54.517s (-0.341) 165.086 mph
16. #4 Kasey Kahne Toyota 54.531s (-0.355) 165.044 mph
17. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 54.594s (-0.418) 164.853 mph
18. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 54.644s (-0.468) 164.702 mph
19. #43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 54.651s (-0.475) 164.681 mph
20. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 54.657s (-0.481) 164.663 mph
21. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 54.672s (-0.496) 164.618 mph
22. #6 David Ragan Ford 54.679s (-0.503) 164.597 mph
23. #33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 54.703s (-0.527) 164.525 mph
24. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 54.758s (-0.582) 164.359 mph
25. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 54.811s (-0.635) 164.201 mph
26. #38 Sam Hornish Jr. Ford 54.847s (-0.671) 164.093 mph
27. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 54.858s (-0.682) 164.060 mph
28. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 54.886s (-0.710) 163.976 mph
29. #13 Casey Mears Toyota 54.897s (-0.721) 163.943 mph
30. #46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 54.972s (-0.796) 163.720 mph
31. #66 Michael McDowell Toyota 55.004s (-0.828) 163.624 mph
32. #37 Tony Raines Ford 55.048s (-0.872) 163.494 mph
33. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford 55.093s (-0.917) 163.360 mph
34. #51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 55.113s (-0.937) 163.301 mph
35. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 55.131s (-0.955) 163.247 mph
36. #32 Mike Bliss Ford 55.227s (-1.051) 162.964 mph
37. #34 David Gilliland Ford 55.289s (-1.113) 162.781 mph
38. #60 Mike Skinner Toyota 55.429s (-1.253) 162.370 mph
39. #71 Andy Lally* Ford 55.438s (-1.262) 162.344 mph
40. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 55.577s (-1.401) 161.938 mph
41. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 55.604s (-1.428) 161.859 mph
42. #181 Scott Riggs Chevrolet 55.639s (-1.463) 161.757 mph
43. #150 T.J. Bell* Toyota 55.742s (-1.566) 161.458 mph
44. #7 Scott Wimmer Dodge 56.315s (-2.139) 159.815 mph

Friday Practice 1 times

1. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 53.658s (Leader) 167.729 mph
2. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 53.684s (-0.026) 167.648 mph
3. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 53.746s (-0.088) 167.454 mph
4. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 53.807s (-0.149) 167.264 mph
5. #22 Kurt Busch Dodge 53.980s (-0.322) 166.728 mph
6. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 53.981s (-0.323) 166.725 mph
7. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 54.010s (-0.352) 166.636 mph
8. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 54.089s (-0.431) 166.392 mph
9. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 54.108s (-0.450) 166.334 mph
10. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 54.122s (-0.464) 166.291 mph
11. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 54.154s (-0.496) 166.193 mph
12. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 54.183s (-0.525) 166.104 mph
13. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 54.210s (-0.552) 166.021 mph
14. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 54.212s (-0.554) 166.015 mph
15. #6 David Ragan Ford 54.223s (-0.565) 165.981 mph
16. #5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 54.223s (-0.565) 165.981 mph
17. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 54.275s (-0.617) 165.822 mph
18. #4 Kasey Kahne Toyota 54.281s (-0.623) 165.804 mph
19. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford 54.316s (-0.658) 165.697 mph
20. #43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 54.352s (-0.694) 165.587 mph
21. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 54.437s (-0.779) 165.329 mph
22. #83 Brian Vickers Toyota 54.467s (-0.809) 165.238 mph
23. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 54.526s (-0.868) 165.059 mph
24. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 54.564s (-0.906) 164.944 mph
25. #00 David Reutimann Toyota 54.696s (-1.038) 164.546 mph
26. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 54.725s (-1.067) 164.459 mph
27. #66 Michael McDowell Toyota 54.738s (-1.080) 164.420 mph
28. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 54.774s (-1.116) 164.311 mph
29. #34 David Gilliland Ford 54.778s (-1.120) 164.299 mph
30. #33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 54.943s (-1.285) 163.806 mph
31. #38 Sam Hornish Jr. Ford 55.005s (-1.347) 163.622 mph
32. #46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 55.064s (-1.406) 163.446 mph
33. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 55.133s (-1.475) 163.242 mph
34. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 55.251s (-1.593) 162.893 mph
35. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 55.350s (-1.692) 162.602 mph
36. #13 Casey Mears Toyota 55.476s (-1.818) 162.232 mph
37. #51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 55.487s (-1.829) 162.200 mph
38. #181 Scott Riggs Chevrolet 55.666s (-2.008) 161.679 mph
39. #60 Mike Skinner Toyota 55.784s (-2.126) 161.337 mph
40. #71 Andy Lally* Ford 55.825s (-2.167) 161.218 mph
41. #37 Tony Raines Ford 55.977s (-2.319) 160.780 mph
42. #32 Mike Bliss Ford 56.051s (-2.393) 160.568 mph
43. #150 T.J. Bell* Toyota 56.093s (-2.435) 160.448 mph
44. #7 Scott Wimmer Dodge 56.408s (-2.750) 159.552 mph

* Denotes Rookie
+ Set by Owner Points



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kurt Busch celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole award for the second consecutive week. [Picture Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images]
The #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge driven by Kurt Busch. [Picture credit: Getty Images for NASCAR.]
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Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, burn out as Crafton celebrates winning the series championship and Wallace celebrates winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane with the trophy, NASCAR President Mike Helton and sportscaster Krista Voda during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and placing ninth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and his daughter Elladee take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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)

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