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Kyle Busch will start from the pole in the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway after he and the 18 team came out on top in Saturday’s bracket qualifying.
Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew beat Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Team Penske pit crew in the final round. Busch and Blaney launched off pit road almost simultaneously before Busch powered down and got ahead of Blaney going into Turn 1. While Busch went back onto the track, Blaney ran the apron trying to make up time but failed, and Busch easily beat Blaney back to the finish line.
The No. 18 crew gets their driver out in front!@KyleBusch wins the pole for the #AllStarRace! pic.twitter.com/4MP8Gr8Hhl
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 22, 2022
“This is a cool event,” crew chief Ben Beshore said. “It’s something new, a good way to showcase our pit crew. … They clicked off three really good stops there and got it. That’s exciting.”
It is the fourth time Busch will start on the pole in the All-Star Race. He is the 2017 winner of the All-Star Race (at Charlotte Motor Speedway).
Sunday will be the second time the event’s been held in Texas.
Blaney will start second.
“I thought our stop was honestly a little faster than his,” Blaney said. “I was on the top for the first round, bottom in the second round, and top in the last round. I could notice a big difference. The bottom launched a lot better after you got done with your stop. Whether it was cleaner or whatever it was, fresh asphalt or something. It just seemed to launch better.
“It’s one of those things. I was hoping that the 5 [Kyle Larson] would beat the 18 in their round because then I would have had lane choice but it just didn’t work out that way.”
William Byron starts third, Kyle Larson fourth, and Kurt Busch fifth. Ross Chastain starts sixth, Martin Truex Jr. seventh, and Aric Almirola eighth. Joey Logano starts ninth and AJ Allmendinger 10th.
The format for All-Star Race qualifying was:
• The opening round was the traditional single-car, one-lap format in reverse order of the current 2022 owner points.
• The fastest eight qualifiers transferred to a three-round, head-to-head elimination bracket.
• The elimination bracket featured two cars staged in adjacent pit stalls near the end of pit road.
• Each pit crew performed a four-tire stop (without fueling) and, at the drop of the jack, drivers exited their pit stalls onto the track.
• The first car back to the start/finish line advanced to the next round.
• The final pairing competed for the pole.
The eight-driver bracket started with Byron defeating Almirola, Blaney defeating Chastain, Larson defeating Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch defeating Truex.
In the second round, Blaney defeated Byron and Kyle Busch defeated Larson.
There will be 24 drivers competing in the All-Star Race after four drivers advance through the Open.
UP NEXT: All-Star Open at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday.