NASCAR at Phoenix 2016 Qualifying Results: Race Order, Final Times and Reaction

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NASCAR at Phoenix 2016 Qualifying Results: Race Order, Final Times and Reaction
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On Friday, Kyle Busch claimed his first official pole of the season for Sunday’s Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, leading a Joe Gibbs Racing sweep among the top three. 

Teammates Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin qualified second and third, respectively, while Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five.

Here is a look at the final results and times from Friday’s session:

Good Sam 500—Qualifying Results
Finish Driver Fastest Time (Seconds)
1 Kyle Busch 26.014
2 Carl Edwards 26.179
3 Denny Hamlin 26.196
4 Kurt Busch 26.202
5 Jimmie Johnson 26.244
6 Matt Kenseth 26.244
7 Kyle Larson 26.271
8 Martin Truex Jr. 26.290
9 Joey Logano 26.321
10 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 26.325
11 Jamie McMurray 26.363
12 Ryan Blaney 26.411
13 Greg Biffle 26.230
14 Aric Almirola 26.236
15 Austin Dillon 26.260
16 Paul Menard 26.272
17 Chase Elliott 26.283
18 Kevin Harvick 26.298
19 Brad Keselowski 26.306
20 Ryan Newman 26.359
21 Trevor Bayne 26.373
22 AJ Allmendinger 26.376
23 Matt DiBenedetto 26.394
24 Kasey Kahne* 26.241
25 Casey Mears 26.561
26 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 26.563
27 Landon Cassill 26.589
28 Ty Dillon 26.594
29 David Ragan 26.626
30 Brian Scott 26.683
31 Regan Smith 26.763
32 Chris Buescher 26.780
33 Michael McDowell 26.852
34 Cole Whitt 26.932
35 Clint Bowyer 27.053
36 Danica Patrick 27.089
37 Josh Wise 27.109
38 Michael Annett 27.115
39 Joey Gase 27.161

Source: NASCAR.com

Despite posting the fifth-fastest time, Johnson will start at the rear of the field Sunday after crashing in the third and final round of Friday’s qualifying, forcing him into a backup car.

The No. 48 Chevrolet had a malfunction when entering Turn 1 and viciously barreled into the outside wall, as NASCAR showed:

Johnson wasn’t able to immediately identify what caused the problem after being released from the infield care center, per Fox Sports: NASCAR on Twitter:

Rarely do such violent collisions occur at a track as flat and short as Phoenix, which left the rest of the garage thankful that Johnson was OK, given the nature of the hit.

Teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted his well wishes:

Before the wreck, Johnson had the only Hendrick Motorsports car in line for a strong finish Friday. 

Earnhardt qualified 26th, Chase Elliott was 17th and Kasey Kahne was 24th after blowing his engine. 

Nascarcasm offered a quip at Kahne’s expense, comparing the smoke from the engine to the weather in the Phoenix area:

Kahne will join Johnson at the back of the field to start Sunday’s race, marking the first time since June’s race at Dover that Hendrick won't field at least one car in the top 12, according to Lee Spencer of Motorsport.com.

Hamlin’s third-place effort is a strong indicator that he’s in line to bounce back after finishes of 16th and 19th in the two races since his Daytona 500 win.

Seven-time Phoenix winner Kevin Harvick surprisingly didn’t reach the final round Friday, settling for 18th. Harvick had his four-race win streak at Phoenix snapped in November after finishing second. He is a 3-1 favorite to win Sunday, though, per Odds Shark.

Kyle Busch won the pole at Atlanta two weeks ago, but his time was disallowed after he failed his post-qualifying inspection. Last week at Las Vegas, Busch was leading in the final stages before relinquishing the lead with six laps to go because of a right front-tire vibration.

The young Sprint Cup Series season has seen three different winners in as many races thus far, and the younger Busch seems to be knocking on the door to Victory Lane. 

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