Kyle Busch wins pole for playoff race at Phoenix

  • FILE - At left, in a March 10, 2019, file photo, Joey Logano drives during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at ISM Raceway, in Avondale, Ariz. At right, in an Aug. 3, 2019, file photo, Kyle Busch heads into Turn 1 during a practice run for a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. One race to go to set NASCAR's championship field and the final four is shaping up to be a repeat of last year. Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick are already in, while Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are above the cutline headed into Sunday's race at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix.

    FILE - At left, in a March 10, 2019, file photo, Joey Logano drives during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at ISM Raceway, in Avondale, Ariz. At right, in an Aug. 3, 2019, file photo, Kyle Busch heads into Turn 1 during a practice run for a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. One race to go to set NASCAR's championship field and the final four is shaping up to be a repeat of last year. Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick are already in, while Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are above the cutline headed into Sunday's race at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix. Associated Press

  • FILE - At left, in an Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, Kevin Harvick races out of Turn 1 during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. At right, in an Aug. 3, 2019, file photo, Martin Truex Jr. (19) heads into Turn 1 during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Watkins Glen International, in Watkins Glen, N.Y. One race to go to set NASCAR's championship field and the final four is shaping up to be a repeat of last year. Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick are already in, while Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are above the cutline headed into Sunday's race at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix.

    FILE - At left, in an Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, Kevin Harvick races out of Turn 1 during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. At right, in an Aug. 3, 2019, file photo, Martin Truex Jr. (19) heads into Turn 1 during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Watkins Glen International, in Watkins Glen, N.Y. One race to go to set NASCAR's championship field and the final four is shaping up to be a repeat of last year. Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick are already in, while Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are above the cutline headed into Sunday's race at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/9/2019 3:09 PM

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Busch won the pole and all eight title contenders qualified in the top 10 for the final race to decide the championship field.

Busch earned the top starting spot for Sunday's race at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix. He turned a lap in Saturday qualifying at 140.116 mph in his Toyota to earn his first pole of the season.

 

It puts him one spot ahead of reigning NASCAR champion Joey Logano on the starting grid, and Busch and Logano are the two drivers above the cutline to earn berths in next week's championship field.

Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick have both already locked themselves into the final four, and six drivers are vying for the final two positions.

Denny Hamlin, the Daytona 500 winner and Busch and Truex's teammate for Joe Gibbs Racing, qualified third and Truex was fourth.

Kyle Larson was the highest-qualifying Chevrolet at fifth, followed by Chase Elliott and Harvick.

Ryan Blaney was the lowest qualifying playoff driver at 10th.

Larson, Elliott and Blaney likely need to win to advance to the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hamlin needs Busch or Logano to have some sort of issue, or, a win Sunday.

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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