Kurt Busch roars to pole for Saturday’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas


Kurt Busch roared to the pole position Friday evening for Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, taking the top spot with a speed of 193.847 mph.

It was Busch’s second pole of the season, having earned the No. 1 spot three weeks ago at Fontana. What makes two poles so early in the season all the more impressive is it was only his fourth qualifying effort of 2015, having missed the first three races while on NASCAR suspension.

“Everything is so tight in qualifying, and I wanted to try and run the same each time out,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “Everybody chipped in. It’s all about getting this little extra and we did.”

This is Busch’s 25th career start at TMS. He has one win, three top-5 and 13 top-10 finishes. This is also his first career pole there.

Busch has a great wing man to start Saturday’s race, sharing the front row with Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick, who notched his best Cup start at the 1.5-mile high-speed TMS oval with a run of 193.722 mph.

Also of note, eight of the top-12 qualified cars are powered Hendrick Motorsports engines.

“The car’s really good,” said Harvick, who has never won a Cup race at TMS. “We stuck to our plan. … You look at that top-12 lineup and all the Hendrick engines and chassis that are in the top-12 is really impressive, so I’m real excited about tomorrow.”

Chevrolets took 12 of the top 15 spots, while Ford had the other three positions. The highest-placing Toyota driver was Carl Edwards, who qualified 16th.

Here’s how Friday’s qualifying played out:

1 Kurt Busch … 193.847 mph
2 Kevin Harvick … 193.722
3 Brad Keselowski … 193.195
4 Kasey Kahne … 192.933
5 Jimmie Johnson … 192.424
6 Joey Logano … 192.369
7 Ryan Newman … 192.253
8 Paul Menard … 192.109
9 Kyle Larson … 192.048
10 Jamie McMurray … 191.721
11 Tony Stewart … 191.489
12 Jeff Gordon … 189.547
13 Ryan Blaney … 192.273
14 Austin Dillon … 192.267
15 Martin Truex Jr. … 192.232
16 Carl Edwards … 191.973
17 Matt Kenseth … 191.918
18 Denny Hamlin … 191.884
19 Greg Biffle … 191.768
20 Casey Mears … 191.421
21 Danica Patrick … 191.096
22 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 190.880
23 Trevor Bayne … 190.523
24 Justin Allgaier … 190.483
25 Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 192.068
26 AJ Allmendinger … 191.966
27 Clint Bowyer … 191.639
28 Michael Annett … 191.530
29 Sam Hornish Jr. … 191.483
30 David Ragan … 191.455
31 Cole Whitt … 191.367
32 Aric Almirola … 191.340
33 Landon Cassill … 191.340
34 Alex Bowman … 191.245
35 Josh Wise … 190.988
36 Brett Moffitt … 190.894
37 Mike Bliss … Owner Points
38 David Gilliland … Owner Points
39 Michael McDowell … Owner Points
40 Chris Buescher … Owner Points
41 JJ Yeley … Owner Points
42 Matt DiBenedetto … Owner Points
43 Alex Kennedy … Owner Points

Did not qualify: Brendan Gaughan, Jeb Burton

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Saturday NASCAR schedule at Talladega Superspeedway


Both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series will race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Cup cars will start the day’s action by qualifying for Sunday’s playoff race, followed by the Truck playoff race and then the Xfinity playoff race.

Talladega Superspeedway (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Saturday: Sunny. High of 78.

Saturday, Oct. 1

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 9:30 a.m. — Truck Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon — Cup Series qualifying (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 4 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Talladega Xfinity starting lineup: Austin Hill wins pole


TALLADEGA, Ala. — Austin Hill will lead the field to the green flag Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway after scoring his first career Xfinity Series pole.

Hill won the pole Friday with a lap of 182.036 mph. He will be joined on the front row by fellow playoff contender Ty Gibbs (181.981 mph).

MORE: Talladega Xfinity starting lineup

Playoff drivers will start in seven of the top eight spots. The exception is Sheldon Creed, who will start third after a lap of 181.870 mph. Hill and Creed give Richard Childress Racing the first and third starting spots.

Justin Allgaier (181.529) qualified fourth and Brandon Jones (181.305) completed the top five. Noah Gragson, who has won four races in a row, starts sixth after a lap of 181.134 mph and is followed by playoff drivers Josh Berry (181.052) and AJ Allmendinger (180.932).

The Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network.

Talladega Truck starting lineup: John Hunter Nemechek wins pole


TALLADEGA, Ala. — John Hunter Nemechek will start on the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race.

Nemechek earned the pole with a lap of 178.767 mph.

Nemechek is one of four playoff drivers starting in the top six: Chandler Smith (second, 177.732 mph), Zane Smith (fourth, 177.061) and Ty Majeski (sixth, 176.744). Majeski clinched a spot in next month’s championship race at Phoenix with his Bristol win.

MORE: Talladega Truck starting lineup

Also qualifying in the top five were Carson Hocevar (177.068) in third and Matt Crafton (176.960) in fifth.

Failing to qualify are Tim Viens, Spencer Boyd, Jason White and Natalie Decker.

Saturday Talladega Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather


The second race of the opening round of the Xfinity playoffs takes drivers to Talladega Superspeedway.

Noah Gragson secured his spot in the next round by winning last weekend at Texas. Ryan Sieg holds the final transfer spot. Riley Herbst is the first driver below the cutline, one point behind Sieg. Also below the cutline are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28).

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:09 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:21 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. … The Brookwood High School choir will perform the anthem at 4:02 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3:30 p.m. on USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Noah Gragson won and was followed by Jeffrey Earnhardt and AJ Allmendinger.