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Busch takes pole at Pocono
NASCAR Pocono Auto Ra Heal
Kurt Busch poses with the pole award after qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Saturday, in Long Pond, Pa. - photo by Associated Press

    LONG POND, Pa. — Kurt Busch's reward for slapping the wall at practice was a backup No. 22 Dodge that was better than his regular ride.
    For that, Busch had plenty of people to thank, starting with his team at Penske Racing.
    It's been quite a reversal for Busch a month after he launched into a foul-mouthed tirade against his race team at Richmond. He made it it two straight poles on Saturday, turning a fast lap of 171.579 mph at Pocono Raceway.
    Busch damaged his No. 22 Dodge in Friday's practice and was forced to a backup car. He also spun at practice last week — a sort of bad luck-good luck habit.    
    He wound up first last week at Kansas Speedway, then topped Jeff Gordon in one of the final qualifying runs at Pocono.
    The two-time winner at the 2½-mile track, Busch became the first pole winner under the new Sprint Cup qualifying rules.