Las Vegas native Kurt Busch says it's his turn to win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Busch took the first step in that direction Friday, winning the pole for Sunday's Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with a track-record speed of 188.719 mph.

Busch hopes to follow his brother and defending race winner Kyle Busch to victory lane. Turning a lap in 28.614 seconds, Busch edged Jeff Gordon (188.646 mph) for the top starting spot in the third race of the Cup season.

Ryan Newman (188.180 mph) qualified third during a session in which 18 drivers broke Kyle Busch's qualifying mark of 185.995 mph (29.033 seconds), set last year. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (188.173 mph) will start fourth and Kyle Busch (188.153 mph) fifth.

Kurt Busch took to the track with the same crew chief-Steve Addington-who guided Kyle to victory at Las Vegas last year. Relieved of his duties at Joe Gibbs Racing late last season, Addington accepted an offer with Kurt's #2 Penske Racing Dodge team during the offseason.

"I've got the right guy in my camp," said Busch, who won his first pole since 2007, his first in NASCAR's new racecar and the 11th of his career. "It seems like Steve Addington definitely has his game on here at this track. I just hope that bleeds over to Sunday.

"I would say we used a combination of what I was familiar with and what he (Addington) liked. Right now, that's our plan of attack each week. We had success last year with our Miller Lite Dodge. It feels good to have Addington's notes and knowledge to blend into that. It feels really neat here in our hometown, Las Vegas."

Gordon said the new tyre combination Goodyear brought to the track was primarily responsible for the dramatic increase in qualifying speed over last year.

Meanwhile series points leader Kevin Harvick scraped the wall during Friday morning's practice session and qualified 34th after repairs to the right side of his Chevrolet were completed.

Casey Mears and Terry Cook failed to qualify for the 43-car field, while Joe Nemechek (15th Friday) was the fastest of the drivers required to qualify for the race on speed.

by Reid Spencer / Sporting News



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