DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Kurt Busch has set a Darlington Raceway record in earning the pole for the Southern 500.
Busch's lap of 181.918 mph Friday earned him his third career pole at Darlington and broke the two-year old mark of 181.254 mph held by Kasey Kahne. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson will start alongside Busch, followed by Kyle Busch, Kahne and Martin Truex Jr.
Kurt Busch got a strong start toward erasing an agonizing, 10-year-old memory at Darlington. He was second here in 2003 behind Ricky Craven by .002 seconds -- the closest finish in Sprint Cup history since the series went to electronic timing in 1993.
The record lap came less than a week after Kurt Busch finished his race at Talladega by going airborne and landing on competitor Ryan Newman.