CONCORD, N.C. — The cream always seems to rise to the top in the biggest races, and such was the case in qualifying for Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Kevin Harvick took his third pole of the season.
Harvick posted a fast lap of 193.424 miles per hour in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford during the third and final round, good enough to claim the top qualifying spot and the crucial No. 1 pit stall that goes with it.
The pole was Harvick’s 20th in 586 career starts.
Starting on the outside of Row 1 for the longest race on the NASCAR schedule will be Kyle Busch, last week’s winner of the Monster Energy All-Star Race. Busch wheeled his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to a qualifying lap of 192.513 mph.
Row 2 will consist of Chase Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and Busch’s teammate, Matt Kenseth. Erik Jones completed the top five in the first of the Furniture Row Racing Toyotas.
In his last Coca-Cola 600, Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 19th.
As has been the case on several occasions this year, pre-qualifying inspection was again an issue for some teams. The biggest name to miss qualifying was points leader Kyle Larson, who didn’t get to make an attempt because his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet never made it through tech.
The track is dark tomorrow, but there will be two practices on Saturday, the first at 9 a.m. ET and the second at 11:30 a.m. Both practices will be televised live on FS1.