A drag-racing driver ran through a net at the end of a track and died of head injuries Friday after crashing at a "high rate of speed" during a qualifying round for the NHRA SuperNationals at a New Jersey raceway, state police said.

Neal Parker, 58, of Millville, crashed at Raceway Park in Old Bridge, State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Parker was entered in the Top Alcohol Funny Car competition. The crash occurred shortly before noon.

NASCAR. Kurt Busch is on the pole for Sunday's NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway.

Busch posted an average speed of 189.984 m.p.h. around the two-mile oval during Friday's qualifying. Jamie McMurray will start second and Jimmie Johnson will start third in the 400-mile race.

The pole is Busch's second of the year and 12th of his career. He's a two-time winner at Michigan, having captured the checkered flag there in 2003 and 2007.

Busch already has wins at Atlanta and Charlotte this year and is fifth in points with 12 races remaining until NASCAR's playoffs begin.

Michael Waltrip, Johnny Sauter and Kevin Conway failed to qualify for the 43-car field.

Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins says he plans to appeal some of the stiff penalties NASCAR handed out to his No. 38 team for using illegal valve stem caps during last week's race at Pocono.