Sep 02 2007

Kurt Busch Gets Pole, Gibbs Moves to Toyota

I haven’t been able to watch qualifying much lately so I don’t have much to say, I am listing the starting order below.

The other big news, is Joe Gibbs racing is moving to Toyota in 2008. This is great news for Toyota, an experienced and good racing organization like the Joe Gibbs operation will make these Toyota cars catch up to everyone else a lot faster than Michael Waltrip and his cronies have. I am kind of surprised though.

Busch said Friday at California Speedway that team officials have told him the organization’s long-awaited move from Chevrolet to Toyota is official. “They finally made their decision, and they called me,” said the current Hendrick Motorsports driver, who is moving into Gibbs’ No. 18 car next season.

“I feel fine with it,” he said. “I think it’s something that’s going to take Joe Gibbs Racing a step forward in the right direction. They have a great reputation for being able to produce winning racecars year in and year out, and championship teams. I think they’re going to be just fine. This is a business decision that they felt was right. I guess now I have to talk to Five Star Race Bodies to make me a late model that’s a Camry.”

Toyota’s move into Nextel Cup has been fraught with difficulty, beginning even before the season-opening Daytona 500 when Michael Waltrip’s team was busted for an illegal fuel additive. While there have been a few bright spots — Dave Blaney’s pole at New Hampshire and Brian Vickers’ fifth-place finish at Charlotte foremost among them — the manufacturer’s first season in Cup has been defined by struggles just to make races on Friday.

So is the chance of Gibbs taking a competitive step back in its first season under the Toyota banner. For a Gibbs car to make the Chase next year in a Camry, it would require a dramatic leap in performance. The highest-ranking Toyota driver this year is Blaney, who sits 33rd in points. Source: Busch says Gibbs move to Toyota in ’08 is a done deal

Which is what I am saying, Gibbs will help Toyota a lot more than this will help Joe Gibbs racing, and if they start falling down and having trouble like the Waltrip organization has, how long will it be before Tony, Denny and Kyle are ready to leave?

Here is how they qualified:

1 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 182.398 39.474 Leader
2 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Jimmie Johnson Foundation 182.394 39.475 -0.001
3 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 182.020 39.556 -0.082
4 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Kodak think: 181.415 39.688 -0.214
5 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Cheez-It / CARQUEST 181.342 39.704 -0.230
6 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 181.333 39.706 -0.232
7 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 181.132 39.750 -0.276
8 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 180.818 39.819 -0.345
9 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Express 180.805 39.822 -0.348
10 16 Greg Biffle Ford Aflac 180.605 39.866 -0.392
11 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Totino’s Pizza Rolls 180.596 39.868 -0.394
12 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 180.542 39.880 -0.406
13 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 180.542 39.880 -0.406
14 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s 180.533 39.882 -0.408
15 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing 180.338 39.925 -0.451
16 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont Cromax Pro 180.185 39.959 -0.485
17 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 180.144 39.968 -0.494
18 84 A.J. Allmendinger* Toyota Red Bull 180.085 39.981 -0.507
19 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot Worklife Rewards 179.937 40.014 -0.540
20 15 Paul Menard* Chevrolet Johns Manville / Menards 179.856 40.032 -0.558
21 40 David Stremme Dodge Target 179.721 40.062 -0.588
22 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 179.502 40.111 -0.637
23 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 179.497 40.112 -0.638
24 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet DIRECTV 179.417 40.130 -0.656
25 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 179.332 40.149 -0.675
26 21 Bill Elliott Ford Motorcraft 179.305 40.155 -0.681
27 36 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 360 OTC 179.207 40.177 -0.703
28 00 David Reutimann* Toyota Burger King 179.202 40.178 -0.704
29 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 179.024 40.218 -0.744
30 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 178.904 40.245 -0.771
31 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target / Memorex 178.824 40.263 -0.789
32 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Best Buy 178.594 40.315 -0.841
33 6 David Ragan* Ford AAA Insurance 178.576 40.319 -0.845
34 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV 178.545 40.326 -0.852
35 7 Robby Gordon Ford Original Roadhouse Grill / Jim Beam 178.372 40.365 -0.891
36 17 Matt Kenseth Ford R+L Carriers 178.297 40.382 -0.908
37 88 Ricky Rudd Ford Snickers Generation Max 178.258 40.391 -0.917
38 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Sharp AQUOS / 3M Vikuiti 178.024 40.444 -0.970
39 45 Kyle Petty+ Dodge Wells Fargo 176.796 40.725 -1.251
40 01 Aric Almirola+ Chevrolet U.S. Army 175.204 41.095 -1.621
41 70 Johnny Sauter+ Chevrolet Haas Automation 174.757 41.200 -1.726
42 42 Juan Montoya+* Dodge Wrigley’s Big Red – - -
43 49 John Andretti Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 178.722 40.286 -0.812

Did Not Qualify
44 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Sears Auto Center / Valvoline / Stanley 178.709 40.289 -0.815
45 4 Ward Burton Chevrolet Lucas Oil / State Water Heaters 177.993 40.451 -0.977
46 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 177.405 40.585 -1.111

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