William Byron led the way at Charlotte Motor Speedway to capture his fifth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole this year and the fifth of his career. Alex Bowman qualified second for a 1-2 Hendrick Motorsports front-row sweep.
Byron drove his No. 24 Chevrolet to a 103.198 mph lap on the 2.28-mile Charlotte Roval for back to back poles. He also qualified on the pole for this year’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May.
“The guys did a great job with this car,” he said, “and it really takes every corner around this race track to get a pole. I knew we could qualify top five but I really wanted the pole and really kind of went out there and got it. So, I’m really proud of this UniFirst team. It’s going to be great to start up front.”
His teammate, Alex Bowman, will start second after a 103.078 mph lap in his No. 88 Chevrolet.
“That run wasn’t the best,” Bowman said. “I know it could have been better. William (Byron) just did a great job there getting through the corners. It’s definitely a positive to be starting on the front row and we just have to focus on getting stage points on Sunday. Very proud of this Nationwide #REALtirement team and the hard work they put in today.”
Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five followed by Kevin Harvick in sixth and Kyle Larson in seventh. Martin Truex Jr., who has won the first two playoff races in the Round of 16, will start in eighth. Ryan Blaney, the defending race winner, qualified ninth and Paul Menard will roll off in 10th.
Chase Elliott will start 19th after missing a downshift during his qualifying run which caused him to wheel hop and subsequently spin. Denny Hamlin was another playoff contender who will have to start from the back of the field. During the first practice session, he spun and hit the Turn 5 tire barrier damaging his primary car and had to go to a backup car.
Erik Jones will start 15th followed by Aric Almirola in 16th and Kyle Busch in 17th as Ryan Newman qualified 24th. Kurt Busch, who won the inaugural pole on the Roval last year, qualified his Chip Ganassi Chevrolet in 23rd.
The Bank of America Roval 400 is set for Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC with radio coverage by PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
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