Former Kentucky Speedway ARCA RE/MAX Series race winner Kyle Busch was one of eight drivers to beat the standing NASCAR Busch Series track qualifying record of 176.384 mph today in the first practice session for tomorrow's "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo."

Busch, who surrendered the lead in the series standings to Martin Truex, Jr., following last week's race in Nashville, Tenn., led the session with a fast lap of 179.033 mph (30.162 seconds). He was among several series drivers who tested at the Kentucky Speedway last week to prepare for this weekend's event.

"Everything went well," Busch said. "Our Lowe's Chevrolet is doing great, especially coming into this race. I loved coming here to Kentucky. I won here last year in an ARCA car and I hope to do the same this year. Our goal is to sit on the pole. I love what they did to the track, it made the track a lot smoother which allows us to be more aggressive with our setup."

Truex, Jr., was second fastest with a lap of 178.974 mph (30.172 seconds). The Chance 2 Motorsports Dale Earnhardt, Jr., protégé will make his second career Kentucky Speedway start tomorrow.

"I'm feeling real good out there," Truex, Jr., said. "We made a good, strong push - one of the best we've made. I actually did a qualifying run on my last lap and a got a little loose in Turn 3, but still finished second fastest. We need to step it up a little to get the pole, as I think everybody else will try to do."

Defending "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" champion Bobby Hamilton, Jr., rounded out the top three in the session after turning his fast lap at 178.672 mph (30.223 seconds).

In all, eight NASCAR Busch Series drivers posted practice speeds faster than the standing track record pole speed set by Stacy Compton on June 13, 2003.

Among them were former Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series winner Mike Bliss, last week's Busch Series winner and former NCTS Kentucky Speedway pole winner Jason Leffler, David Stremme, Kentuckian David Green and Kenny Wallace.


Erik Darnell, who placed second in his last NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast Series outing at Kentucky Speedway in 2003, led the opening practice session for tonight's "Kentucky 150" race with a fast of 155.431 mph.

The race begins tonight at 9:00 p.m. All tickets are $20 and available at the speedway ticket windows at the main entrance between Gates 15 and 16.

~ Kentucky Speedway ~