Clint Bowyer captured the pole for Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bowyer posted the fastest three-lap qualifying run that included a pit stop (118.794 seconds, 136.371 mph) to take the top spot among the 15 current eligible drivers for the $1 million-to-win race. He became the 18th driver to win the pole for the annual non-points race.
“You have to have a fast car. We checked that box off. You have to do a great job coming on pit road and getting into the box, getting the most out of that, we checked that box, and those guys laid down a good pit stop, checked that box, and we rolled over here and checked another one off with a trophy,” Bowyer said. “There’s only one more and that’s to take Marcus’ million bucks and go to the house and have a good time with it.”
Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.
Busch had the fastest pit stop (14.6 seconds) and Harvick recorded the fastest first lap (29.646 seconds) during the session, according to Racing Insights.
“I thought everything about the lap actually was pretty good,” Busch said. “I’m not sure how fast the lap itself was – how fast our car was on the lap. I felt like my progressiveness onto pit road and pit road speed was relatively good and then the braking point and being able to just chatter the tires all the way into the box was really close. Really on the money there. I thought we got all we could get out of it.”
Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch were the only drivers that were penalized, each with one lug nut, and they will start 14th and 15th, respectively.
Four more drivers will be added to the lineup, three through the Monster Energy Open and one by the Fan Vote.
Daniel Hemric will start from the pole in the Open after posting a time of 29.643 seconds, 182.168 mph in the second round of Open qualifying earlier on Friday evening.
“We came here with the mindset, as a company, to have really fast race cars,” Hemric said. “The guys did a great job of bringing us that. It’s good to get a pole even if it’s for the Open. We checked that box and anytime you do something like that at home, it’s special.”
Motor Racing Network’s live coverage of Saturday night’s Open and All-Star Race begins at 5:30 p.m. ET.