Kevin Harvick has clinched the pole in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is Harvick’s first pole of 2016. His last pole came at Phoenix in March of 2015.
“This has just been a fun car to drive today. Hopefully, we can get it dialed in for race trim. We struggled when we first rolled off the truck in race trim and we just got it better and better and better. We applied all that stuff to qualifying so hopefully we’ll what we learned in qualifying we can apply to the race trim stuff and go from there,” said Harvick about his car today.
As the first round of qualifying went green, numerous cars were caught in the inspection. However, Harvick was the fastest in the first round at a speed of 194.756 mph. AJ Allmendinger was second at a speed of 194.252 mph, Alex Bowman was third at a speed of 194.140 mph, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was fourth at a speed of 193.840 mph, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five at 193.833 mph. Within the last 30 seconds of round one, Matt DiBenedetto was able to bump Kyle Larson out of the 24th position to transfer. All drivers made time on the track. All 12 drivers remaining in the Chase for the Sprint Cup advanced into the second round. Notable drivers who did not advance include Larson who qualified 25th, Trevor Bayne who qualified 27th, and Clint Bowyer who qualified 31st.
The second round of qualifying saw Bowman at the top of the board with a speed of 196.200 mph. Harvick was second at 195.494 mph, Chase Elliott was third at 195.228 mph, Kasey Kahne was fourth at 195.087 mph, and Martin Truex Jr rounded out the top five at 194.925 mph. Chase drivers who did not advance to the final round include Matt Kenseth who will start 17th, Austin Dillon who will start 19th, and Brad Keselowski who will start 20th.
The third round of qualifying saw Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch run the same speed at 195.228 mph. Harvick will start on the pole. Bowman will start second at a speed of 196.029 mph, Elliott will start third with a speed of 195.759 mph, Ky. Busch will start fourth, and Stewart will round out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson was the lowest qualifying chaser in this round. He qualified 11th at a speed of 192.630 mph.
Next up for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from Charlotte Motor Speedway will be two practice sessions at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. EST on NBCSN.