BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) -- Kyle Busch will start from the pole Sunday in the Lifelock 400, thanks to rain that washed away qualifying at Michigan International Speedway.
The rain began pelting down after 11 of 45 drivers had completed qualifying attempts on the two-mile oval and NASCAR was forced to fill the race field by points, giving series leader Busch his third pole start of the season. He will be joined on the front row by Jeff Burton, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and defending race winner Carl Edwards in row two.
It was a pretty good start to the weekend for Busch, who will try to run three NASCAR races for the second straight weekend, with hopes that things will go better this week.
Busch, who already has 12 wins this season -- four in Cup, four in the Nationwide Series and two in the Craftsman Truck Series -- was hoping to win them all last week while racing in Cup at Pocono, Nationwide at Nashville and trucks at Texas.
That was something nobody had ever done before -- racing in NASCAR races at three different tracks on the same weekend, but it didn't work out the way he planned.
Busch had a generally miserable weekend, crashing and finishing 43rd at Pocono, winding up 20th at Nashville and salvaging things a bit with a runner-up finish at Texas.
This week, the 23-year-old wunderkind will do a triple again, with less difficult travel. He plans to drive in the truck race here Saturday afternoon, the Nationwide race Saturday night in Kentucky and return to Michigan in time to race in Sunday's 400-mile Cup event.
More rain on Saturday, here or in Kentucky, could upset those plans.
"Things have gone real well," Busch said of his busy schedule this season. "We haven't had much weather delays or anything like that. The weather this year has actually been very cooperative.
"We had a (rain) shortened practice with the trucks today and it's raining in Kentucky right now, so we're probably not going to even bother going over there for practice tonight," the youngster said.
As far as last week's struggles, Busch said he has put it out of his mind.
"I may have looked tired, but that was probably more frustration and disappointment on my face," he said. "It's over with, it's done with. We have to come here with fresh focus and just get back to things as normal. It was a long weekend, but I don't think anything really wore on me."
Pocono was Busch's worst Cup race in more than two months. He qualified 10th, his worst starting spot since starting 22nd on March 16 at Bristol. And his last-place finish was the only finish outside the top 10 for Busch since he was 38th on March 30 at Martinsville.
So starting up front Sunday is a feel-good situation for both him and his Joe Gibbs Racing team.
"It's probably going to be like what we've seen the past couple of year, with starting up front paying dividends," he said. "I'm going to try to get the five bonus points for leading a lap and then go on and try to have a solid day running up front."