Date: Sept. 15, 2012
Event: Geico 400 Qualifying (Round 27 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. (1.5-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (29.530 seconds at 182.865 mph)
Kyle Busch: 21st (29.883 seconds at 180.705 mph)
Kyle Busch qualified 21st for the Geico 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The driver of the No. 18 DoublemintÂ® Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) turned a lap of 29.883 seconds at 180.705 mph around the 1.5-mile oval.
“We were wrecking loose in (turn) one and (turn) two on our first lap, and I had to take another lap,” said Busch, who notched a Sprint Cup win at Chicagoland in July 2008. “The second lap isn’t going to be as fast since you set it up to run only one. It still ended up better than we thought. We felt like our Doublemint Camry was good in race trim yesterday, so we’ll see how things play out tomorrow.”
Busch’s JGR teammates – Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, and Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry – qualified eighth and 10th, respectively. Hamlin posted a time of 29.682 seconds at 181.928 mph, while Logano stopped the clock in 29.731 seconds at 181.629 mph.
Jimmie Johnson captured his 27th career Sprint Cup pole, his second of the season and his second at Chicagoland by posting a lap of 29.530 seconds at 182.865 mph. Johnson is now tied with Terry Labonte for 24th on the all-time Sprint Cup pole list.
Aric Almirola will start on the outside of row one as he timed in at 29.567 seconds at 182.636 mph. Matt Kenseth was third (29.616 seconds at 182.334 mph), while Dale Earnhardt Jr. (29.695 seconds at 182.070 mph) and Carl Edwards (29.663 seconds at 182.045 mph) rounded out the top-five.
Forty-seven drivers attempted to qualify for the Geico 400. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Scott Riggs, Reed Sorenson, J.J. Yeley and Jason Leffler.
As far as manufacturers went, Chevrolet took the top spot via Johnson’s pole run. Ford was next best at the hands of Almirola. Toyota was the third-fastest make thanks to Hamlin, while 13th-quick Brad Keselowski (29.751 seconds at 181.507 mph) carried the flag for Dodge.
The Geico 400 gets underway at 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m.