William Byron captured the pole for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Byron became the youngest driver (21 years, 5 months, 24 days) to win the pole for the 600 after posting a fast lap of 29.440 seconds, 183.423 mph in the No. 24 Chevrolet.
“This is a dream come true,” said Byron, who went out 29th in the 40-car qualifying order. “Obviously I grew up in Charlotte and came to this race every year. So, it‘s a dream come true to qualify on the pole with Hendrick Motorsports just across the street and all the hard work and everybody at Chevrolet giving us fast race cars. This is pretty cool. I can‘t think of a better way to start the weekend.”
The pole was his second of the season and it gave crew chief Chad Knaus his fourth pole in the 600.
Aric Almirola went out sixth in the qualifying order and was able to lock down the second fastest lap at 29.497, 183.069 mph in the No. 10 Ford.
“I felt like I got everything I could out of it,” Almirola said. “Surprisingly, it was a handful to drive so I‘m proud of that lap.”
Defending Coca-Cola 600 winner Kyle Busch tied his best start of the season in third.
Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.
Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Daniel Hemric, who led the first practice session, completed the top 10.
Teams will get tomorrow off before returning on Saturday for two practice sessions to get ready for Sunday’s longest race of the season.