NASCAR at New Hampshire 2018 Qualifying Results: Kurt Busch Wins Pole Position

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2018

LOUDON, NH - JULY 20:  Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 20, 2018 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Kurt Busch won pole position for Sunday's Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, coming in with a top speed of 133.591 mph and a best time of 28.511 seconds.


A monster of a run. @KurtBusch lays down a hot lap to nab the #BuschPole at @NHMS! https://t.co/jptcNyjhaE

As NASCAR writer Jeff Gluck noted, it's Busch's third pole of the season and the 25th of his career. 

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five from Friday's qualifying. NASCAR.com shared the full results.

"I like the way that we made the right changes through each of the rounds," Kurt Busch said, per NASCAR. "And we stuck to a game plan. That's exactly what you hope to have each time you go through a qualifying, where you don't have to deviate away from the plan you set in place."

Hamlin, who finished fourth in qualifying, is the defending winner at the race. And he's willing to face a fear if it means retaining his title, as he joked after qualifying, per Matt Weaver of Autoweek

Matt Weaver @MattWeaverAW

On NBCSN, @heymartysnider asks @dennyhamlin how he would respond to a lobster in victory lane. He's terrified of them if you recall. He deadpans: "The way our month has gone, if we win, I'll take two." lol

"Yeah, I've never really liked them to begin with," Hamlin said last September, per Reid Spencer of NASCAR.com. "I don't like the taste of them. I don't—I just don't like looking at them. They have pincers, really, so I don't like anything that’s ugly and has pincers."

"I don't know—its just a big scorpion in my mind," he continued. "I try to stay away from them and, yeah, I've had some interesting moments with them for sure that I don't care to recall or bring back up."

Each year, the winner of this race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is gifted a live lobster named Loudon. And drivers react differently to the unique prize.

"Joey Logano had no problem because he's an East Coast guy," Greg Makris, the owner of the Makris Lobster and Steak House restaurant that presents and later cooks the lobster, told Ray Duckler of the Concord Monitor. "Jimmy Johnson was a little intimidated by Loudon, but drivers tell me they like it."

It remains to be seen how Kurt Busch would feel about a live lobster trophy. He'll be gunning to find out Sunday.