Kurt Busch earned his first pole in two years in impressive fashion, using a track-record lap of 181.918 mph to claim the top starting spot for Saturday night’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Busch’s most recent pole came June 19, 2011, at Michigan when he was still running with Penske Racing. It’s the 16th pole of his career.
Kasey Kahne held the previous track qualifying lap of 181.254 mph set in May 2011.
“What an incredible lap. The team deserves all the credit,” Busch said. “We gained speed all day. We had a great draw for qualifying, so I thought we were in pretty good position to get a pole.”
Jimmie Johnson qualified second, Kyle Busch was third, Kasey Kahne was fourth and Martin Truex Jr. was fifth.