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NASCAR starting lineup at Texas: Kurt Busch on pole with new track record

Kurt Busch was flying around the track Friday while Chase Elliott never got a chance to get going.

Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch was on a mission Friday. He earned the pole for Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 by setting the record for the fastest speed in the history of the track at 200.915 mph.

Chase Elliott, on the other hand, had a little bit more trouble.

Elliott currently sits in eighth in the standings, but he suffered a tough blow Friday as his car failed inspection and was unable to put down a qualifying time. He will have to play catchup to the other seven drivers, and considering the fact he is 26 points back of the final four spots, he really needs to have a good race.

"Jimmie (Johnson) started in the back here in the spring and it worked out fine, so I think if you have your car driving good and you do the right things all day, you know, we see it every weekend, guys faced with adversity throughout the race get caught speeding on pit road, have a penalty on pit road, go to back and it seems like the guys that are good enough, you see them again in your mirror in a run and a half," he told NBCSN. "So I think it's definitely doable if we all do our part tomorrow and we go from there."

But for Busch, who is currently leading the playoff standings, this was his 22nd career pole, but his first this season. In the meantime, Denny Hamlin, who dumped Elliott from the lead last Sunday with under three to go in Martinsville, was second in qualifying while Kevin Harvick was third and Erik Jones fourth.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 airs at 2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app. 

2017 NASCAR playoffs Round of 8 standings

Kyle Busch (win)
Martin Truex Jr. +67 points above cutoff line
Brad Keselowski +29
Kevin Harvick +3
Jimmie Johnson -3
Ryan Blaney -6
Denny Hamlin -8
Chase Elliott -26

Starting lineup for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas

1. Kurt Busch
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Erik Jones
5. Kyle Busch
6. Daniel Suarez
7. Martin Truex Jr. 
8. Ryan Blaney
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Brad Keselowski
11. Kyle Larson
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Danica Patrick 
15. Austin Dillon
16. AJ Allmendinger
17. Dale Earnhardt. Jr. 
18. Aric Almirola
19. Kasey Kahne
20. Clint Bowyer
21. Daniel Hemric
22. Landon Cassill 
23. Michael McDowell 
24. David Ragan
25. Ryan Newman
26. Chris Buescher
27. Ty Dillon
28. Matt DiBenedetto
29. Cole Whitt
30. Joey Gase
31. Ray Black II
32. Jeffrey Earnhardt
33. David Starr
34. Chase Elliott
35. Matt Kenseth
36. Joey Logano
37. Trevor Bayne
38. Reed Sorenson
39. Corey Lajoie
40. Gray Gaulding

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