NXS: Busch Scores Irish Hills 250 Pole

The grid for the Irish Hills 250 is set and it is the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota driven by Kyle Busch and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford under the direction of Brad Keselowski that will lead the 40-driver NASCAR XFINITY field to the green flag. Two rounds of single-car qualifying were completed with the top 12 drivers advancing to the final round. With 40 drivers on the original roster, no one was eliminated.

Both rounds saw speeds just shy of the 200-MPH mark. Keselowski took round one with a lap time of 37.234 seconds and a speed of 193.372 MPH while Busch followed behind with a 37.409-second run, 192.467 MPH. In the final round, the twosome traded spots on the board with Busch stopping the clock at 37.197 seconds, 19.564 MPH to get both his third pole and third top-10 start of the 2017 season.

Although he finished second in the first qualifying round, Busch did not think he had the fastest car. However, he was two tenths faster his second round. “Good adjustments I guess,” Busch said in a FS1 interview. “We just had to adjust air pressure, that’s all we had. Car was just really loose that first run.”

Although Busch dominates this series, he believes the upcoming race won’t be an easy one. He also mentioned drafting. “You’re going to have some interesting moments in traffic,” he explained. “Normally, we’d practice in groups and draft each other and see how the cars were driving in traffic but nobody really did that yesterday. There were a lot of single-car runs so I think everyone is going to be in for a surprise here in a little bit about how these cars will handle traffic.”

It was a time and speed of 37.222 seconds, 193.434 MPH that earned Keselowski his fifth top-10 start of the season. The Michigan native will join Busch on the front row. “The Discount Tire Ford’s pretty fast, really good first round,” Keselowski told FS1. “Picked up a little bit (in round two) but everyone picked up as well. We just didn’t pick up quite enough. Looking forward to a great race today.”

After winning last week’s NXS race at Pocono, Keselowski would love to go to Victory Lane at his home track in either the NXS or the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. “I haven’t run the XFINITY race in probably the last six years,” he said. “I feel like on the Cup side, I’ve been good but just not quite good enough to break through to win. Hopefully I can learn a little bit more to get the push I need on the Cup side for tomorrow and also get a trophy today.”

Points leader Justin Allgaier, who leads the standings by only one tick over Elliott Sadler will start 22nd. The No. 7 Suave Chevrolet driver did not advance to the final round after a lap and speed of 38.088 seconds, 189.036 MPH. “Just missed the corner in turns one and two,” Allgaier said, also in a FS1 interview after the qualifying session. “When you’ve only got one lap to get it done, it makes it tough when you miss a corner. I lifted probably a little more than I wanted to.”

Allgaier is still optimistic for this afternoon. He’s looking forward to racing in traffic. “Our car drove well yesterday in practice,” he said. “We’re going to do the best job we can and see what happens.

Tune into the Irish Hills 250 at 1:30 PM ET later this afternoon. FS1, MRN and Sirius XM Channel 90 have you covered.



Round 1

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Tyler Reddick
  4. Elliott Sadler
  5. William Byron
  6. Denny Hamlin
  7. Spencer Gallagher
  8. Michael Annett
  9. Paul Menard
  10. Ben Kennedy

Round 2 & Top 10 Starters

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Elliott Sadler
  4. William Byron
  5. Denny Hamlin
  6. Tyler Reddick
  7. Cole Custer
  8. Spencer Gallagher
  9. Michael Annett
  10. Paul Menard
Katie Williams
Latest posts by Katie Williams (see all)