Kyle Busch captures the Coca-Cola 600 pole

by Angela Campbell On Thu, May. 24, 2018

Photo Credit: Brad Keppel for

Kyle Busch won the Busch Pole Award for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a qualifying lap of 191.836 mph.

This was his third pole of the season and the 30th of his career. It’s the first step for Busch as he attempts to capture his fourth win of the season at Charlotte, the only track on the Cup Series schedule where he has not won a points-paying race. He has the second-best driver rating (104.9) at the 1.5-mile track with 11 top fives and 16 top 10s.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has come close to victory lane placing second in the Coca-Cola 600 last year. He spoke about the significance of winning NASCAR’s longest race.

“It’s important to me, but I’m not sure it’s important in the grand scheme of things,” Busch said. “It’s certainly important to me, and I would love to get that knocked out of the way and to be finished with it until another new track comes up on the circuit.

“Certainly, it’s been a trying time here over the course of my career and to have it come to fruition in a points race, (but) the last I checked, I have a trophy at home that says, ‘Winner at Charlotte Motor Speedway,’ so I’ll take that to my grave with me if I do never get a points win here. That will be my saving grace, I guess.”

Joey Logano qualified second, Denny Hamlin third and Erik Jones was fourth, followed by Brad Keselowski in fifth.

“The Coke 600, to me, is a crown jewel event. I think of the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Coca-Cola 600 are three of the biggest races we have all year. As a Coca-Cola driver, I’d like to be spraying this stuff all over Victory Lane. That would be really nice,” Logano said.

Kevin Harvick didn’t make a qualifying attempt after his car failed technical inspection three times and as a result, he will start at the back of the field on Sunday. His car chief Robert Smith was ejected from the track and Harvick will lose 30 minutes of practice time in the final practice on Saturday.

“There were some things in the garage that basically the template side of it wasn’t getting used and straight edges weren’t getting used and we were just purely going off the OSS, and that was fine until it somewhat starts getting out of hand. They changed some things around last week and some personnel around and positions around and started checking things differently.

“Everybody is gonna push things as much as they can and I think everybody knows that the 4 team is out to push things as much as they can and win races, so it’s disappointing to start in the back. It’s disappointing not to have Cheddar (Smith, car chief) here, but we’ll get through it as a race team and we’ll have a good car on Sunday. “We’ll just have to serve our penalty and move on,” said crew chief Rodney Childers.

The Coca-Cola 600 will be broadcast at 6 p.m. Sunday on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Follow @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

Starting Lineup
Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway
Sunday, May 27th | 6:00 PM ET
1. Kyle Busch
2. Joey Logano
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Erik Jones
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Ryan Newman
7. Jamie McMurray
8. Ryan Blaney
9. Aric Almirola
10. Daniel Suarez
11. Kyle Larson
12. Austin Dillon
13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
14. Paul Menard
15. Martin Truex Jr.
16. Kurt Busch
17. Matt Kenseth
18. Chris Buescher
19. David Ragan
20. Ty Dillon
21. William Byron
22. Chase Elliott
23. Jimmie Johnson
24. Darrell Wallace Jr.
25. Ross Chastain
26. Kasey Kahne
27. Alex Bowman
28. Clint Bowyer
29. Michael McDowell
30. AJ Allmendinger
31. Matt DiBenedetto
32. Parker Kligerman
33. Corey LaJoie
34. Gray Gaulding
35. Landon Cassill
36. Timmy Hill
37. Jeffrey Earnhardt
38. BJ McLeod
39. Kevin Harvick
40. JJ Yeley

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