LOUDON, N.H. — The No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota is in a familiar spot come race-time for the Overton’s 200 at Loudon.
Kyle Busch is on the pole for the second-straight week in the XFINTIY Series by running a fast time of 29.445 seconds (129.353 mph) around the 1.058-mile track. Busch bested Brad Keselowski (129.068 mph) by over six one-hundredths of a second as the two start alongside for Saturday’s race.
“We were adjusting on it every single round, just trying to continue to make it better and make it to where I can push it harder,” Busch said. “Obviously, I gave it everything it had and then there’s no more. Really good speed with our JGR Camry, all the guys on this NOS Energy Drink car have done a great job and continue to do so. We just hope that we get ourselves up front and we have and keep ourselves up front and hopefully go after another win today.”
“There’s just an unknown right now with how the track’s going to change and how it’s going to continue to evolve as the day goes on. That stuff’s kind of wearing off already, we saw it in cup practice just continually going away so we’ll see it more as the day goes on with all of the different racing that’s happening here.”
New Hampshire Motor Speedway continues to change throughout the day with the track covered in a special grippy substance called PJ1 or VHT. In between qualifying and the race, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practices one more time followed by a 100-lapper for the Whelen Modified Tour before the XFINITY race.
Former Loudon winner Brad Keselowski lines up alongside Busch’s No. 18 Toyota for the second-consecutive race both drivers have been entered in. Kyle Larson completed the Cup trifecta by qualifying third in his No. 42 ENEOS Chevrolet. Larson returns to the car for the first time since Pocono after dueling with Keselowski for the win in last month’s Pocono Green 250.
Matt Tifft was the highest-qualifying XFINITY regular in fourth as Daniel Hemric made it two rookies in the top-five.
Connecticut native Ryan Preece slotted in sixth in the first of two races in the No. 20 JGR Toyota. PreeCe is also running the Modified race in his No. 6 TS Haulers Racing machine and won Friday’s non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout.
William Byron was seventh, followed by JR Motorsports teammate and fastest first-round qualifier Elliott Sadler in eighth. Brennan Poole and rookie Cole Custer completed the top-10.
The qualifying session was stopped once when Dylan Lupton lost control of his No. 24 JGL Racing Toyota and sustained heavy damage in the crash.
“It was just unfortunate circumstances, we were whout there scuffing tires and just made a rookie mistake on my part,” Lupton said. “There’s a little roll off Turn 2 and we were a little bit loose. As soon as I got towards the wall, it just kind of took off for me and just come back down and made a natural Q-run but it just got away from me in Turns 1 and 2. The No. 24 JGL crew will work hard and get better-and-better on this Nut-Up Camry back on track.”
All 40 cars made a lap so no drivers go home for Saturday’s Overton’s 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The green flag drops shortly after 4 p.m. ET (NBCSN, PRN).