Skip to content

Kyle Busch earns New Hampshire Sprint Cup pole, Jimmie Johnson starts 2nd; 72-year-old Morgan Shepherd also in

Jul 11, 2014, 5:53 PM EST

(AP Photo/Terry Renna) AP

Kyle Busch blistered the one-mile flat oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during Friday’s qualifying, being the only driver to exceed 138 mph to grab the pole for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301.

Busch’s pole-winning speed was 138.130 mph at 27.574 seconds. It’s his 15th career Sprint Cup pole, his second career pole at NHMS and his second pole of 2014.

“I gave it everything I had,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “I thought I was a little too tight, but I guess I was just driving through it enough that it was still carrying some good speed and I had the throttle down on both ends. I was thinking it was going to be a solid top-4, so I’m real proud of these guys on this (team).

“We didn’t unload great but made some good changes, some good ground today and hopefully we’ll do some more tomorrow.”

Busch finished second in both races at NHMS last season, including to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth in the the fall Chase race there.

Jimmie Johnson was second-fastest at 137.790 mph, followed by Denny Hamlin (137.081), Tony Stewart (137.076), Jamie McMurray (137.017) and Joey Logano (136.815).

“It’s tough to get a good lap around here,” Johnson said. “Of course we want to get the pole and want to be faster, but Kyle (Busch) found a little bit more out there than us. … This helps make the weekend so much easier to race with a good pit stall pick, track position and you can fine tune from here. Hopefully we can fine tune to make this a race-winning car.”

Seventh through 12th-fastest in qualifying were Brad Keselowski (136.805 mph), followed by Clint Bowyer (136.702), Martin Truex Jr. (136.629), Kasey Kahne (136.174), Jeff Gordon (136.058) and Kevin Harvick (135.912).

Notable items during the session:

* Joey Logano crashed in the first practice round and had to go to a backup car for Sunday’s race, but still managed to qualify sixth.

* Three of the top 10 qualifiers are still looking for their first win of the season: Tony Stewart (starts fourth), Clint Bowyer (eighth) and Kasey Kahne (10th). Also looking for his first win, after earning a series-high seven wins last season, is Matt Kenseth (qualified 15th).

* Morgan Shepherd, 72, qualified last and will take the green flag for Sunday’s race.

* Daytona winner Aric Almirola qualified 19th.

* Dale Earnhardt Jr. struggled in qualifying, the only Hendrick Motorsports driver who failed to make it in the top 11. Earnhardt will start Sunday’s race from the 28th position.

* Rookie Kyle Larson was among the fastest drivers in practice, but failed to advance to the second and final qualifying session. He’ll start 13th.

“A little bit disappointed,” Larson told Fox Sports 1. “Oh well, we tried hard. This car has speed in it. We were pretty fast in practice. All in all, it’s a successful day for us, except for not making the final round. But we can still win the race from 13th place.”

* Carl Edwards will start 14th, just barely missing the top 12 in qualifying.

“This place is deceptively difficult,” Edwards told Fox Sports 1. “It’s pretty tough. It’s a simple layout but your car just has to be perfect. It has to hit the seams just right, get off the brakes right, apply the throttle correctly. I guess a couple hundredths more and we’d have been in the final (qualifying) round.”

 

Here’s the starting grid for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

Row 1 Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson

Row 2 Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart

Row 3 Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano

Row 4 Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer

Row 5 Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne

Row 6 Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick

Row 7 Kyle Larson, Carl Edwards

Row 8 Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard

Row 9 Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch

Row 10 Aric Almirola, AJ Allmendinger

Row 11 Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Row 12 Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman

 

Row 13 Justin Allgaier, David Ragan

Row 14 Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Row 15 Danica Patrick, Jeff Burton

Row 16 Casey Mears, Josh Wise

Row 17 David Gilliland, Landon Cassill

Row 18 Cole Whitt, Alex Bowman

Row 19 Reed Sorenson, Ryan Truex

Row 20 Michael Annett, Eddie McDonald

Row 21 Mike Bliss, Timmy Hill

Row 22 Morgan Shepherd

Did not qualify: none

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Latest Posts
  1. Sports car notes: Emerson Fittipaldi to return to racing in Brazil, and more

    Nov 21, 2014, 12:45 PM EST

    2013 Laureus World Sports Awards Nominations Getty Images

    Emerson Fittipaldi to a race a Ferrari F458 Italia in Brazil next week, plus two PWC notes.

  2. GP2: Vandoorne claims fourth straight pole position in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 21, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

    © GP2 Media © GP2 Media

    McLaren junior driver becomes the first in GP2 history to score four poles in a row.

  3. 2014 F1 championship showdown preview: Nico Rosberg

    Nov 21, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRESSER Getty Images

    Part two of the championship profiles sees us take a look at Nico Rosberg’s rise through Formula 1 and to within reach of the world championship. Can he follow in his father’s footsteps and win the title?

  4. GP3: Alex Lynn wins championship after qualifying in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 21, 2014, 11:30 AM EST

    © GP3 Media Service © GP3 Media Service

    Red Bull junior driver picks up the championship in Abu Dhabi, and is now targeting a move up to F1 in 2015.

  5. 2014 F1 championship showdown preview: Lewis Hamilton

    Nov 21, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Practice Getty Images

    In the first half of our articles profiling the championship contenders, we take a look at the leader, Lewis Hamilton, ahead of Sunday’s showdown in Abu Dhabi.

  6. Grosjean handed 20-place grid penalty in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 21, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRACTICE Getty Images

    Stewards in Abu Dhabi penalize the Frenchman after changes are made to his engine on Friday.

  7. Some good Friday reading from Milwaukee JS: Jimmy Fennig: “Just a racer”

    Nov 21, 2014, 9:45 AM EST

    jimmy fennig Getty Images

    A great read from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Jimmy Fennig as he prepares for semi-retirement.

  8. Hamilton quickest in second practice for Abu Dhabi GP

    Nov 21, 2014, 9:32 AM EST

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    After topping FP1 earlier today, Hamilton doubles up in second practice as the sun sets in Abu Dhabi.

  9. FIA makes minor alteration to qualifying format in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 21, 2014, 8:45 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRACTICE Getty Images

    With the addition of Caterham to the grid for this race, five cars will drop out in Q1 and Q2 in Abu Dhabi.

  10. WATCH LIVE: FP2 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    Nov 21, 2014, 7:45 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRACTICE Getty Images

    Lewis Hamilton looks to double up and pile the pressure on Nico Rosberg as the sun goes down in Abu Dhabi.

  11. Formula E Teams’ Association (FETA) formed

    Nov 21, 2014, 7:20 AM EST

    CHina Formula E Auto Racing AP

    Cheese puns aside, FETA looks to give the ten teams racing in Formula E a voice in the new series.

  12. Sutil focused on staying in Formula 1 next season

    Nov 21, 2014, 6:45 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-BRA-F1-PRESSER-SUTIL Getty Images

    Despite having a Sauber contract, Sutil will not be racing for the Swiss team in 2015.

  13. Vettel looking forward to working with Raikkonen at Ferrari

    Nov 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    “Kimi is probably the least complicated driver on the grid so in terms of performance on the track, when we talk about the skills Kimi has, I don’t think there is a single person in the paddock who doubts his skills, including myself.”

  14. First blood to Hamilton in Abu Dhabi as he tops FP1

    Nov 21, 2014, 5:32 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Practice Getty Images

    The world championship leader edges out teammate Nico Rosberg in the final FP1 session of the year.

  15. WATCH LIVE: FP1 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    Nov 21, 2014, 3:45 AM EST

    Nico Rosberg AP

    First practice from Abu Dhabi is live on Live Extra from 4a ET today.

  16. Logano turns early frustrations into breakout season (VIDEO)

    Nov 20, 2014, 8:29 PM EST

    Ford EcoBoost 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Joey Logano on a turnaround and breakout season.

  17. Top Sprint Cup pit crew members, teams of 2014 named

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:37 PM EST

    Several of Denny Hamlin's pit crew members, as well as the entire team, earned top pit crew member/pit crew team honors for 2014 in voting by their peers. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) AP

    After a month of voting and more than 350 ballots cast by their peers on all Sprint Cup teams, the top pit crew members and overall pit crews of 2014 were announced Thursday.

  18. NASCAR issues lighter than expected penalties vs. No. 17 Roush Fenway team for Homestead violations

    Nov 20, 2014, 5:56 PM EST

    (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing team dodged a bullet Thursday when NASCAR announced less severe than expected penalties for unapproved rear suspension parts found last weekend at Homestead.

  19. F1 Paddock Pass: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (VIDEO)

    Nov 20, 2014, 4:24 PM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews Getty Images

    All the latest from the ground in Abu Dhabi from NBCSN’s Will Buxton in this week’s “Paddock Pass.”

  20. The F1 champ is crowned on NBCSN from Abu Dhabi this weekend

    Nov 20, 2014, 4:18 PM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRACTICE Getty Images

    TV times, title outlooks for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. K. Harvick (1917)
  2. R. Newman (1858)
  3. J. Gordon (1749)
  4. J. Logano (1719)
  5. J. Johnson (1710)
  1. D. Hamlin (1684)
  2. M. Kenseth (1405)
  3. K. Larson (1361)
  4. B. Keselowski (1271)
  5. T. Stewart (1248)