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Kyle Busch wins pole for playoff race at Phoenix



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AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Busch won the pole and all eight title contenders qualified in the top 10 for the final race to decide the championship field.

Busch earned the top starting spot for Sunday's race at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix. He turned a lap in Saturday qualifying at 140.116 mph in his Toyota to earn his first pole of the season.

It puts him one spot ahead of reigning NASCAR champion Joey Logano on the starting grid, and Busch and Logano are the two drivers above the cutline to earn berths in next week's championship field.

Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick have both already locked themselves into the final four, and six drivers are vying for the final two positions.

Denny Hamlin, the Daytona 500 winner and Busch and Truex's teammate for Joe Gibbs Racing, qualified third and Truex was fourth.

Kyle Larson was the highest-qualifying Chevrolet at fifth, followed by Chase Elliott and Harvick.

Ryan Blaney was the lowest qualifying playoff driver at 10th.

Larson, Elliott and Blaney likely need to win to advance to the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hamlin needs Busch or Logano to have some sort of issue, or, a win Sunday.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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The Associated Press

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