Kyle Busch wins the NASCAR All-Star Race pole ahead of Ryan Blaney

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch won the pole for the $1 million-to-the-winner NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday night in a one-on-one fight with Ryan Blaney.

Kyle Busch

For the first time, the top 8 racers in single-car qualifying went to a knockout round, where they were pitted against each other in one-on-one clashes that included a pit stop and a one-lap race to the checkered flag.

Busch and Blaney’s teams progressed to the championship round, with the champion taking home the pole.

“Anytime you’re able to showcase the pit crew’s ability and have them and their athleticism in this competition and in this qualifying format, I enjoy that,” said Busch. “I think that’s my most favorite part of the year, coming to the All-Star race,” Busch said. “Whether it’s Charlotte and coming down pit road and sliding into the box, but having those guys go over the wall certainly means a lot.

“Especially this No. 18 bunch that I’ve had a lot of success with over the years, obviously changed up a few times, most recently, but we’ve always been a threat to be reckoned with when it comes to getting on the pole for the All-Star race. It feels good to have that today.”

Busch’s No. 18 Toyota crew was the first out of the pits and quickly gained a lead on the racetrack, easily beating Blaney by 1.284 seconds at the finish line.

On Sunday night’s race, Blaney will start beside Busch on the front row. William Byron will begin third, followed by Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr., and Aric Almirola.

Blaney overcame Byron in the semifinal round of the one-on-one battles, while Kyle Busch beat Larson.

Byron overcame Almirola in the first round of head-to-head qualifying, while Blaney beat Chastain, Larson beat Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch beat Truex.

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