(Charlotte, NC) Three rounds of qualifying later and the fastest man in Charlotte is Kevin Harvick, 193.424 mph.
Round 1 of qualifying was not all smiles for everyone. Kyle Larson, the points leader coming into this weekend, will start 39th after he did not get a chance to set a time tonight. Larson had an incident in practice earlier today that damaged his car, and the crew could not get it repaired in time to make it through the crowded tech inspection line. After speaking with Larson, he said, “I’m optimistic I have a fast car, but I just hope we make it through tech.” Corey Lajoie also did not make it through tech and will start 40th.
Round 2 was full of last second runs and very fast speeds. Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch set down the 193-mph zip code and topped the speed charts at the end of the round putting them into the final round. Unfortunately, Dale Earnhardt Jr., making his final start in the Monster Energy Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday did not have the speed in the race car to make the final round he will start 19th posting a speed of 189.940 mph. Furthermore, Ricky Stenhouse Jr might have had some explaining to do this weekend if he had made the final round and bumped out his girlfriend Danica Patrick, who will start 15th, but Stenhouse was bumped out of the final round by Jamie McMurry at the last possible second, Stenhouse will start 13th. Ryan “The Rocket Man” Newman did not have the speed to make the final round and break his tie with David Pearson for most poles in the Coca-Cola 600 leaving them tied at 6.
The 3rd and final round featured the fastest speeds of the weekend and Kevin Harvick and his Mobile 1 Ford bested the field with a 27.918 second lap time giving him and Capt. Morel, the soldier that is being honored on the windshield of the number 4 car this weekend, the pole for Sunday’s Race. Erik Jones will be the highest rookie starter in the field of 40 starting 5th, and Kevin Harvick’s teammate Kurt Busch rounds out the top 12 in his Haas Automation / Monster Energy Ford.