NASCAR: Kurt Busch the fastest at Fontana

Published 11:46 pm Friday, March 20, 2015

The Associated Press

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Kurt Busch’s comeback from his season-opening suspension is gathering speed.

Busch won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway, turning a lap of 185.142 mph in his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet to edge teammate Kevin Harvick.

Busch was reflective after claiming the 17th pole of his NASCAR career and his first since May 2013.

“This is a privilege to have a chance to drive at this top level,” Busch said. “When it’s taken away from you, or you have made a mistake and you don’t get a chance to go out there and do it on your terms, it’s tough. So I don’t have anything to prove. I have my job to do, though, and that’s to win races.”

Matt Kenseth was third in qualifying, and David Ragan finished fourth in the No. 18 Toyota normally driven by Kyle Busch, the injured two-time defending champion at Fontana.

Harvick’s Chevrolet has won the first two titles on the three-race West Coast swing, putting him in position for a clean sweep at Fontana.

Only 19 drivers in NASCAR history have won three straight races, but Harvick seems equally excited by Stewart-Haas Racing’s overall strong start to the season.