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NASCAR At Pocono: Kurt Busch Wins Second-Straight Pole

Kurt Busch (No. 22 Dodge) has two career wins at the Pocono Raceway, but tomorrow he will lead the field to the green flag at the Tricky Triangle for the first time.

Busch turned a lap of 52.454 seconds to grab his second pole in a row, following his top qualifying effort for last weekend's event at Kansas. Busch dominated that race, leading 152 of the 267 laps before having to make a late pit stop for fuel while a handful of drivers stretched their gas to the end, including his Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski. Keselowski won, while Busch wound up ninth.

Paul Menard was second-fastest with a lap of 52.502. Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, and Regan Smith rounded out the top-five. The rest of the top-10 were Carl Edwards, Marcos Ambrose, Ryan Newman, David Reutimann, and Mark Martin.

Unadilla's David Ragan was 11th quickest. Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart, both among the top-five fastest drivers in Friday's practice sessions, qualified 14th and 15th respectively. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has come tantalizingly close to breaking his three-year victory drought over the last two races, qualified 21st.

J.J. Yeley was the fastest of the go-or-go-home drivers at 22nd. Mike Skinner turned the slowest lap of the 44 drivers and missed the field.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.