Date: April 12, 2013
Event: NRA 500 Qualifying (Round 7 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (27.509 seconds at 196.299 mph)
SHR Lineup: Tony Stewart (13th, 27.888 seconds at 193.632 mph)
Ryan Newman (31st, 28.190 seconds at 191.557 mph)
Danica Patrick (42nd, 28.709 seconds at 188.094 mph)
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, led the three-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent in time trials Friday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth by qualifying 13th for the NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night. Stewart turned a lap of 27.888 seconds at 193.632 mph around the 1.5-mile oval.
“We picked up a second there (from practice), and that’s a lot of speed to pick up here at Texas,” said Stewart, who is a two-time Sprint Cup winner at Texas (November 2006 and November 2011). “Man, these cars are fast around here today. I told Steve Addington (crew chief) I would like to rerun that lap because I think this Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy could go quicker, but I just really don’t want to do it today (laughs).”
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, will start 31st after posting a lap of 28.190 seconds at 191.557 mph.
“That was better,” said Newman, who became the youngest Sprint Cup winner at Texas with his victory in 2003. “We’ve struggled this weekend with our Quicken Loans Chevrolet. The guys kept working on it, they made a lot of changes, and it was definitely better there. I cost us a little time down in turns three and four. We’ll focus now on the race, and see what we can do with it tomorrow night.”
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 42nd after posting a lap of 28.709 seconds at 188.094 mph.
“It wasn’t the run we wanted with the Go Daddy Chevy,” said Patrick, who has one Sprint Cup, four Nationwide Series and eight IZOD IndyCar Series starts at Texas. “We had a really good (turns) one and two, but lost a lot of time in (turns) three and four. It was just tight. It’s not fun starting in the back, but we’ll have to. We worked our way up last week and we’ll try to do it again this week.”
Kyle Busch captured his 12th career Sprint Cup pole, his second of the season and his first at Texas by turning a record lap of 27.509 seconds at 196.299 mph, breaking the previous Sprint Cup track qualifying record of 27.518 seconds at 196.235 mph set by Brian Vickers on Nov. 3, 2006.
Kurt Busch will start on the outside of row one after clocking in at 27.595 seconds at 195.688 mph, as he also broke the previous track qualifying record. Aric Almirola was third (27.691 seconds at 195.009 mph), while Marcos Ambrose (27.700 seconds at 194.946 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. (27.725 seconds at 194.770 mph) rounded out the top-five.
Forty-five drivers attempted to qualify for the NRA 500. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Scott Speed and Scott Riggs.
Qualifying was a model of parity, as Toyota took the top spot among manufacturers via Kyle Busch’s pole run. Chevrolet was next-best at the hands of Kurt Busch. Ford was the third-fastest make thanks to Almirola.
The NRA 500 gets underway at 7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with a pre-race show at 7 p.m.