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Ky. Busch wins Phoenix pole, Johnson qualifies 24th

8:30 PM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
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Avondale, AZ (Sports Network) - Kyle Busch will start on the pole in the AdvoCare 500, while points leader Jimmie Johnson struggled in qualifying with a 24th-place finish on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Busch, who was fastest in practice earlier in the day and therefore the last driver to make a qualifying run in the 44-car field, set a new track qualifying record at Phoenix with a lap at 138.766 mph. Carl Edwards held the previous record at this flat one-mile racetrack with a lap at 137.279 mph, which he set in Feb. 2011.

It's the second pole for Busch this season and the 10th of his Sprint Cup Series career. He also won the pole at Phoenix in April 2006.

Martin Truex Jr. held the provisional pole late in qualifying with a lap 138.217 mph. Busch topped Truex by 0.103 seconds.

Denny Hamlin, who won at Phoenix in February, qualified third, while Kasey Kahne, the defending race winner, took the fourth spot. Aric Almirola completed the top-five.

Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin qualified sixth through 10th, respectively.

Johnson holds a seven-point lead over Brad Keselowski with just two races to go in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Johnson has won the last two Chase events -- Martinsville and Texas. He won the pole position and led the most laps in the previous two races as well.

Keselowski qualified 14th.

J.J. Yeley, a Phoenix-native, was the only driver who failed to qualify for Sunday's 312-lap race, which is scheduled to start just after 3 p.m. (ET).

The Sports Network

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