INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kyle Busch will try to defend his Brickyard 400 win from the pole Sunday.
Busch posted a fast lap of 184.634 mph, just ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards at 184.547. Three-time Cup champion and two-time Brickyard winner Tony Stewart will start third in his final race at Indy after posting a speed of 184.328.
Stewart will retire after this season.
Five-time race winner Jeff Gordon will start 21st in the 40-car field after failing to advance to the final round. Gordon’s best lap of the day, 184.543, was good enough to reach the second round of qualifying. But Gordon’s best speed in Round 2 dropped to 181.851.
Gordon is making his season debut in the No. 88 car, replacing the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.