He's had plenty of other close calls at Kansas, always leading laps but never finding his way to victory lane.
Johnny Sauter avoided trouble all night to finish second and John Hunter Nemecheck was third, while Busch's teammate, Christopher Bell, rallied from a badly timed caution to finish fourth. Still, the talk will continue until someone breaks through, and considering Kyle Busch won this race a year ago and claimed victory in the truck race Friday night, all eyes are on him.
Aric Almirola sat trapped in his auto for almost 15 minutes following a wreck that was started when Joey Logano made contact with Danica Patrick at Kansas.
He was riding sideways and sliding up the track before plowing into Logano's No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford with enough force that Almirola's back end lifted several feet off the track accompanied by another fireball.
"Just saying a lot of prayers for Aric [Almirola] right now", Logano said.
NASCAR stopped the race while safety workers cut the roof off Almirola's Fusion and extricated him from the vehicle.
Almirola was carried off the track in a stretcher before being airlifted out of Kansas Speedway to Kansas University hospital, where he was kept overnight for further evaluation. He was conscious and alert.
Logano and Patrick were checked and released from the care center.
"I felt like if I could get out front on those restarts, I was OK", Truex said. Something broke on my vehicle. "I've had a couple of the greatest years of my career with this team and I just can't wait to show up at every racetrack". I noticed it going in and tried to back off, but you're going 215 (mph) and I hooked Danica. McDowell was sent to the rear of the pack because a crew member jumped over the wall too soon.
Joey Logano, who has had his share of technical issues and penalties, qualified second with a time of 28.490 seconds at 189.54 miles per hour and said he didn't feel any sympathy for the drivers who failed tech.
"I hope Aric is alright", Logano said. "He's definitely feeling the worst of everybody". The debris that was scattered across the track caused a red flag, stopping the race for almost 30 minutes. It was his eighth top-10 qualifying effort in the first 11 races. We've been working really hard at it. "That's the last thing you want to see". Bowyer, 37, has been competitive this season and ranks ninth in the standings but is still looking for his first win at Kansas and first win anywhere since 2012 at Charlotte, a string of 159 starts without a checkered flag. Once the red flag was finally lifted and cars began rolling off, Clint Bowyer told his team over the radio he was concerned about the heat building up in his own brakes. Patrick talked openly about her frustrations earlier this week, and she bemoaned her rotten luck again Saturday night. It's ridiculous. Most people can't even understand how little that is. "I don't remember where we finished because it was so heartbreaking", Truex said.
"I'm not going to lie to you: As a racer, you don't forget", Truex said.
But 23-year-old Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 21 Motocraft Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, had no complaints after earning his first pole in 65 Cup starts with a lap of 28.481 seconds at 189.600 miles per hour on the 1.5-mile layout. Truex Jr. should be able to bounce back this week at Kansas.
Truex took the lead from polesitter Blaney on lap 10 and ran up front until Harvick and Dillon opted to stay out during a lap 50 caution for Landon Cassill, the second caution that resulted from an incident for Cassill. In each of the first two stages, drivers finishing in the top-10 will receive championship points (10 to 1) with the victor receiving one playoff point.