Kyle Busch nips Newman to win pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch climbs out of his car after winning the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Cup series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) Kyle Busch won the pole for the second race of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup season, edging Ryan Newman in a close battle at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Busch overcame handling problems in the first two rounds of qualifying Friday to win the pole with a lap of 184.652 mph in the third round. Busch beat Newman’s 184.419 mph. Kevin Harvick qualified third.

Busch won his 28th career pole, and his first at Atlanta.

Rookie Darrell ”Bubba” Wallace Jr., who finished second last week in the Daytona 500, qualified 19th.

Defending NASCAR Cup champion Martin Truex will start last in the 36-car field. His car did not pass inspection.

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