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Top seeding puts Kyle Busch on Chicagoland pole due to rainout

Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

JOLIET, Ill. – When rain forced cancellation of Friday's knockout qualifying session for Sunday’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway (1:30 p.m. on NBCSN), Kyle Busch was the primary beneficiary.

As the top seed in Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and with his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota seeded first in the corresponding owners’ standings, Busch will start on the pole at the 1.5-mile track for the first of the 10 playoff races that will decide the 2016 champion.

Busch also will get first pick of pit stalls, with the corresponding advantage of choosing the stall nearest the exit from pit road.

Brad Keselowski, who like Busch recorded a series-best four victories during the 26-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season, will start on the outside of the front row, as the 16 Chase drivers take the green flag from the top 16 positions, according to respective seeding.

A three-time winner thanks to last Saturday’s victory at Richmond, Denny Hamlin will start third beside Kevin Harvick, the highest-seeded driver with two wins.

Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. will take the green from fifth and sixth, respectively, with Matt Kenseth in seventh, as Toyota drivers occupy five of the top seven starting positions. Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Jamie McMurray are eighth through 16th on the grid, respectively.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400

Chicagoland Speedway

Joliet, Ill.

Friday, Sept. 16

1. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota

2. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford

3. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota

4. (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet

5. (19) Carl Edwards, Toyota

6. (78) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota

7. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota

8. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet

9. (22) Joey Logano, Ford

10. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet

11. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet

12. (41) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet

13. (34) Chris Buescher #, Ford

14. (24) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet

15. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet

16. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet

17. (88) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet

18. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet

19. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet

20. (6) Trevor Bayne, Ford

21. (47) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet

22. (21) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford

23. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford

24. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford

25. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet

26. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet

27. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford

28. (15) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet

29. (13) Casey Mears, Chevrolet

30. (95) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet

31. (38) Landon Cassill, Ford

32. (23) David Ragan, Toyota

33. (7) Regan Smith, Chevrolet

34. (44) Brian Scott #, Ford

35. (83) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota,

36. (98) * Cole Whitt, Chevrolet

37. (46) Michael Annett, Chevrolet

38. (32) Joey Gase(i), Ford

39. (55) * Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet

40. (30) * Josh Wise, Chevrolet

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