JOLIET, Ill. — staff report — NASCAR photo — Persistent rain scrapped Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway, getting the first stages of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title fight off to a soggy start.
The washout means that Kyle Busch will start first in Sunday’s MyAFibStory.com 400 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN), the opening battle of the 10-race Chase playoffs, according to the NASCAR rule book. Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota was the fastest in Friday’s opening Sprint Cup practice with a lap of 191.442 mph.
Ryan Newman will start alongside Busch on the front row for Sunday’s 400-miler after posting the second-best lap in the first practice at 191.042. Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and defending race winner Matt Kenseth complete the top five starters.
Defending series champion Jimmie Johnson will start seventh Sunday. Brad Keselowski, a four-time winner this year and the Chase’s top seed, will start 25th, while his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano will roll from 29th on the grid.
Two 50-minute practices are scheduled Saturday at the 1.5-mile track. The 11-11:50 a.m. ET session will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1; the 2-2:50 p.m. ET final practice is scheduled to air on FOX Sports 2.