SPARTA — As if Kyle Busch needed any additional help getting around Kentucky Speedway.
Busch, who captured Thursday night's NASCAR Truck Series race in Sparta after starting from the rear of the field, will be on the pole for Saturday's inaugural Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup race after qualifying was halted because of rain on Friday.
Since qualifying was unable to be completed, the field was set based on the fastest times in final practice. Busch led that bunch by completing a lap in 29.540 seconds with Juan Pablo Montoya joining him on the front row after turning in a fast lap of 29.589.
"Certainly, yesterday was good, and now being able to start up front," said Busch, currently third in points. "We had a really good car and unloaded well. I wish we could have run the lap and put it on the pole for sure, but the car has been fast."
Kurt Busch will be just behind his younger brother when the green flag drops as he was third on the final practice chart. Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five starting positions with Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Tony Stewart and Paul Menard completing the top 10.
"We didn't really think weather was going to be an issue, I was just gunning for a fast lap in practice so we could go later in the (qualifying) order," Kurt Busch said. "Just that little bit is all it takes, but that's why Cup is competitive."
Points leader Kevin Harvick will roll off in the 19th spot while Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have to make his run from the 29th position.
Perhaps the person most disheartened by mother nature's appearance was Owensboro native Michael Waltrip. Waltrip was among the drivers who needed to qualify on time, so the rain-out meant he was left out of the Cup field in his home state.
Alicia Wincze Hughes email@example.com