Sunday, April 20, 2014
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NASCAR Daytona 2013 qualifying results: Kyle Busch, Toyota best in Daytona qualifying

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Kyle Busch won the pole for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, leading a Toyota sweep of the top three starting positions.

In Friday afternoon's qualifying, Busch toured the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 46.458 seconds (193.723 mph) to win his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at Daytona and the 13th of his career. Never before had Busch won more than two poles in a single season, and never before had Busch won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at a restrictor-plate track.

Busch edged Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth (193.299 mph) for the top starting spot in the 18th Sprint Cup race of the season. Clint Bowyer (193.158 mph) qualified third in the No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, as Camry drivers claimed five of the top seven spots on the grid.

Despite his prowess across all three of NASCAR's top three touring series, Busch was beginning to wonder if he'd ever get a Sprint Cup pole at Daytona or Talladega Superspeedway, the two tracks where restrictor plates are used in the series.

"I never thought I'd get one," Busch said. "But I guess, never say never. It's pretty cool, because it has absolutely nothing to do with the driver, but everything to do with the car and equipment you're driving.

"Unfortunately, whether it's been trucks, Nationwide or Sprint Cup, I've never had a [restrictor plate] pole. I thought it was always something to do with me. That's not really true; it's just in the back of your mind. But it's cool to sit on the pole here, and I'm definitely excited about knowing I have a fast race car, qualifying well, and getting ready for Saturday night."

Kasey Kahne posted the fourth-fastest lap at 193.154 mph and was the best of the Chevrolet drivers. Martin Truex Jr. (193.129 mph), fresh from his recent victory at Sonoma, will start fifth. Paul Menard, Michael Waltrip, series points leader Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Greg Biffle earned the sixth through 10th starting positions.

Stenhouse, the last driver to make a qualifying run, knocked girlfriend Danica Patrick from the 10th to the 11th starting position. Reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski qualified 15th, one position ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is seeking his first victory since June 2012 at Michigan.

The qualifying session was the only on-track obligation of Sprint Cup drivers on Friday, and Bowyer was getting stir-crazy.

"I can't wait for Saturday," Bowyer said. "My ADD is running wild. I think I ran seven laps [in Thursday's practice] and one today. All these fans down here having a blast down at the beach, and I can't join ‘em because of that one lap that I had to do today.

"I can't wait to hopefully put on a good show for them. We all know it's going to be wild -- it always is at Daytona."

Coke Zero 400 Starting Lineup

1) Kyle Busch

2) Matt Kenseth

3) Clint Bowyer

4) Kasey Kahne

5) Martin Truex Jr.

6) Paul Menard

7) Michael Waltrip

8) Jimmie Johnson

9) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

10) Greg Biffle

11) Danica Patrick

12) Carl Edwards

13) Tony Stewart

14) Juan Pablo Montoya

15) Brad Keselowski

16) Dale Earnhardt Jr.

17) Jeff Burton

18) Joey Logano

19) Casey Mears

20) Trevor Bayne

21) Ryan Newman

22) Kurt Busch

23) Jeff Gordon

24) Denny Hamlin

25) Marcos Ambrose

26) Kevin Harvick

27) Jamie McMurray

28) David Gilliland

29) Dave Blaney

30) Aric Almirola

31) Michael McDowell

32) JJ Yeley

33) AJ Allmendinger

34) Bobby Labonte

35) David Stremme

36) Scott Speed

This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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