Kyle Busch earns pole position for the Coke 600 at Charlotte

Kyle Busch is still looking for his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway but he’s off to a good start this weekend.

Busch saved the fastest lap of the day for the final round of Thursday night’s qualifying, using an average lap speed at 191.836 mph to win the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Team Penske’s Joey Logano ended up second (191.218 mph) while Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin was third (191.049 mph). Erik Jones was fourth and Brad Keselowski completed the top-five.

The pole is Busch’s third this season, third at Charlotte and 30th of his career.

“We felt pretty good. The guys did an amazing job in practice as we weren’t very good in practice. The boys just went to work,” Busch said. “It’s all good because it’s pure talent, all the way around, all these guys.

“This is a race you always enjoy coming to. At Charlotte, I haven’t won here in a points-paying event I guess. It would certainly be nice to get that down here this weekend with the 600.”

Sunday’s race will also see last weekend’s winner of the All-Star Race, Kevin Harvick, starting from the rear of the field.

Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford was never able to clear inspection before the conclusion of the first round of qualifying. The car failed inspection three times so Harvick’s car chief, Robert Smith, was ejected for the remainder of the weekend.

Harvick will also have to sit out 30 minutes of Saturday’s final practice session.

Harvick, who leads the series with five wins this season, won three of four stages on his way to the $1 million first prize in the all-star race.

Round out the top 12 starters are Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon.

Round 2

Kyle Busch set the standard in the second round, using an average lap speed of 191.591 mph to easily go to the top of the speed chart.

Hamlin was second (190.409 mph) and Logano was third (190.282 mph). Blaney was fourth and Newman completed the top-five.

Also advancing to the final round were McMurray, Almirola, Larson, Jones, Austin Dillon, Keselowski and Suarez.

Among those who failed to advance were the three remaining Hendrick Motorsports drivers – William Byron, Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott.

Also not advancing were Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Darrell Wallace Jr.

“I don’t think I left anything out there. Our car had a little bit of speed in practice, we only made two laps,” Stenhouse said. “I drive our car, especially in qualifying, on the very edge. I got really loose, really sideways.”

Round 1

McMurray led the way in the first round with an average lap speed of 191.035 mph, the only driver to cross the 191 mph barrier in the session.

Kyle Busch was second (190.094 mph) and Jones was third (189.974 mph). Blaney was fourth and Kurt Busch completed the top-five.

Among those who failed to advance to the first round were Kasey Kahne, Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, A.J. Allmendinger and Matt DiBenedetto.

“Just kind of frustrated with that first run,” Bowman said. “Our car isn’t bad and we shouldn’t be this far back. We’ll be OK on Sunday.”

The first car didn’t take to the track until 11 minutes remained in the 15-minute session as teams waited to catch a cloud or allow the track to cool some.

When the first round went green, five cars – those of Harvick, Almirola, Kahne, Parker Kligerman and J.J. Yeley – had not yet cleared inspection.

Both Harvick and Yeley never turned a lap during qualifying.

Cla#DriverManufacturerTimeGapMph
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 28.149   191.836
2 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 28.240 0.091 191.218
3 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 28.265 0.116 191.049
4 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 28.288 0.139 190.894
5 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 28.338 0.189 190.557
6 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 28.391 0.242 190.201
7 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 28.430 0.281 189.940
8 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 28.437 0.288 189.893
9 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 28.465 0.316 189.707
10 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 28.465 0.316 189.707
11 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 28.580 0.431 188.943
12 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 28.712 0.563 188.075
13 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 28.595 0.446 188.844
14 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 28.601 0.452 188.805
15 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 28.620 0.471 188.679
16 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 28.668 0.519 188.363
17 6 united_states Matt Kenseth  Ford 28.726 0.577 187.983
18 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 28.738 0.589 187.905
19 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 28.796 0.647 187.526
20 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 28.815 0.666 187.402
21 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 28.835 0.686 187.272
22 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 28.860 0.711 187.110
23 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 28.935 0.786 186.625
24 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 29.061 0.912 185.816
25 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 28.781 0.632 187.624
26 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 28.787 0.638 187.585
27 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 28.801 0.652 187.493
28 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 28.834 0.685 187.279
29 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 28.894 0.745 186.890
30 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 28.921 0.772 186.716
31 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 29.025 0.876 186.047
32 96 united_states Parker Kligerman  Toyota 29.173 1.024 185.103
33 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 29.484 1.335 183.150
34 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 29.486 1.337 183.138
35 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 29.513 1.364 182.970
36 66 united_states Timmy Hill  Toyota 29.963 1.814 180.222
37 55 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 30.172 2.023 178.974
38 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 30.383 2.234 177.731
39 7 united_states J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet      
40 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford  

 

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Charlotte
Track Charlotte Motor Speedway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Qualifying report