NASCAR at Charlotte 2019 Qualifying Results: William Byron Wins Pole Position

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 23: William Byron, driver of the #24 Liberty Patriotic Chevrolet, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

For most of Thursday evening, it looked like Aric Almirola would take the pole for the Coca-Cola 600. 

Then William Byron took the track, scorched the field and walked away with his second pole of the 2019 season. Byron went around Charlotte Motor Speedway in 29.440 seconds with an average speed of 183.424 mph to start on the inside of the front row in Sunday's race.

Almirola will start on the outside of Row 1, while Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick round out the Top Five.

1. William Byron

2. Aric Almirola

3. Kyle Busch

4. Austin Dillon

5. Kevin Harvick

6. Daniel Suarez

7. Joey Logano

8. Clint Bowyer

9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

10. Daniel Hemric

11. Kurt Busch

12. Chase Elliott

13. Alex Bowman

14. Martin Truex Jr.

15. Jimmie Johnson

16. Erik Jones

17. Paul Menard

18. Ryan Newman

19. Ryan Blaney

20. Denny Hamlin

Full results at NASCAR.com

 

Byron previously won the pole at the Daytona 500 before finishing 21st. He has just two top 10s in points races this season but is coming off a ninth-place finish in last week's All-Star race in Charlotte. During his rookie season, Byron had finishes of 39th and 34th at Charlotte.

"I think it's a true test of your fitness level and mental capacity as a driver, not just for the heat but for the endurance it takes," Byron said of the Coca-Cola 600, per Reuters.

"Team-wise, there was a stretch for a few years that it was easier to make it 600 miles, but now with the performance as critical as it is, I think the cars are pushed more and the engines are pushed more, making it harder to go the full distance. I think this race really is a test of everything you have as the sport just gets more and more competitive."

Almirola also noted the endurance needed to run the 600-mile trek while also noting the race presents a unique opportunity for points. 

"What you have from a driveability and balance standpoint from the race car at the beginning of the race is not what you have at the end," Almirola said. "You're trying to figure out what it takes to get your car to win at the end, and you have to be good at all facets because there are a lot of points to be made."

Byron and Almirola don't have to look far for guys with experience winning the race. Kyle Busch is the defending champion and will start in third, while 2017 winner Austin Dillon starts fourth. 

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