Kyle Busch wins the pole at Martinsville


MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) – Kyle Busch has won the pole at Martinsville Speedway to open the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs.
Busch turned a lap at 96.254 mph around the Virginia paperclip to earn the top starting spot in Sunday’s race. More important, it earned Busch the first pit stall and easiest exit during pit stops.
Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing team won at Martinsville last fall to put his Toyota in the championship four. There are four slots open to race for the title in the season finale and a victory in this round of the playoffs earns an automatic berth to Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Clint Bowyer qualified second in a Ford from Stewart-Haas Racing, which has all four of its drivers in the field of eight. SHR teammate Aric Almirola qualified fifth, Kurt Busch was seventh and Kevin Harvick 13th.
Chase Elliott was the lowest-qualifying playoff driver at 21st.

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