Kurt Busch to start first at Texas; 7 playoff drivers to start in top 10

From The Marbles
The pole is Busch’s first since March of 2016. (Getty)
The pole is Busch’s first since March of 2016. (Getty)

Kurt Busch is now the owner of the fastest lap at Texas Motor Speedway.

Busch jumped to the top of the board in the third round of qualifying with a track record lap of 200.915 MPH. The previous record for speed at the track was held by Tony Stewart on the old configuration and broken by Denny Hamlin in the third round before Busch.

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Per NBC’s broadcast of qualifying, it’s the fastest lap ever posted at 1.5-mile track in Cup Series history. Texas was reconfigured and repaved before the 2017 season and the spring race was won by Jimmie Johnson.

Multiple drivers’ cars didn’t get through inspection on Friday and will start at the back including Chase Elliott. Inspection — and the inability to get through it — has been a big theme at qualifying at intermediate tracks in 2017.

The pole is Busch’s first since he started first at Las Vegas in the spring of 2016. Here’s the entire starting lineup for Sunday’s race, which goes green at approximately 2:15 p.m. ET. Daniel Hemric subbed for Paul Menard on Friday. Menard’s wife had a baby on Wednesday and Menard will be back for the race.

1. Kurt Busch
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Erik Jones
5. Kyle Busch
6. Daniel Suarez
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Ryan Blaney
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Brad Keselowski
11. Kyle Larson
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Danica Patrick
15. Austin Dillon
16. AJ Allmendinger
17. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
18. Aric Almirola
19. Kasey Kahne
20. Clint Bowyer
21. Daniel Hemric [subbing for Paul Menard]
22. Landon Cassill
23. Michael McDowell
24. David Ragan
25. Ryan Newman
26. Chris Buescher
27. Ty Dillon
28. Matt DiBenedetto
29. Cole Whitt
30. Joey Gase
31. Ray Black
32. Jeffrey Earnhardt
33. David Starr
34. Chase Elliott
35. Matt Kenseth
36. Joey Logano
37. Trevor Bayne
38. Reed Sorenson
39. Corey LaJoie
40. Gray Gaulding

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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