When Kurt Busch left Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, he was in position to run for the pole of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
That position disappeared after he left to get back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race.
Busch was bumped from the Fast Nine as qualifying proceeded Saturday afternoon, and after provisionally qualifying 10th, Busch can start no higher than that for the Indy 500 on May 25. The 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion is attempting to become the first driver to run the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day since Robby Gordon in 2004.
The IndyCar Series shook up the format for 500 qualifying this year, and Saturday's session was most important to determine who would have the opportunity to run for the pole position Sunday. Every driver had an opportunity to qualify -- many more than once, as there were 71 attempts -- and the fastest nine drivers would be eligible for the pole on Sunday.
Busch was seventh when he left, but was officially knocked out by Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti, who had been previously knocked out of the Fast Nine.
The drivers in the Fast nine besides Andretti are Ed Carpenter, Carlos Munoz, Helio Castroneves, James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and JR Hildebrand. All nine drivers had four-lap average speeds of over 230 MPH.
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