NASCAR at Charlotte 2020 Qualifying Results: Kurt Busch Earns Pole Position

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2020

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Kurt Busch secured the pole position at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after finishing first in Sunday's qualifying.

The No. 1 car finished with a time of 29.79 seconds with a top speed of 181.269 miles per hour, edging Jimmie Johnson in second place by .009 seconds. The two will now start at the front of the pack for the upcoming race Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.


Starting Order

1. Kurt Busch (1)

2. Jimmie Johnson (48)

3. Chase Elliott (9)

4. Matt Kenseth (42)

5. Tyler Reddick (8)

6. Austin Dillon (3)

7. Joey Logano (22)

8. Martin Truex Jr. (19)

9. Brad Keselowski (2)

10. William Byron (24)

Full starting list available at NASCAR.com.


This event represented the first form of traditional qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series since returning from hiatus because of the coronavirus.

The season officially resumed last week with a pair of races at Darlington Raceway after being away for more than two months. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin each earned wins, but there was no official qualifying as NASCAR tried to minimize risk upon returning.

The Real Heroes 400 created its starting order based on owners points and a random draw, while the Toyota 500 used an inverted order from the previous race.

Things were almost back to normal Sunday as drivers had to earn their spot on the race track.

Busch was one of the last to run a lap in qualifying, but he was the best in the field to earn his 28th career pole:


The No. 1 is No. 1! @KurtBusch edges @JimmieJohnson and goes to the top of the board in #BuschPole qualifying! https://t.co/ZpnAVaNPqn

Johnson was seemingly poised to grab the No. 1 spot after his quality run, but his time didn't hold up:


How about that lap for @JimmieJohnson? The No. 48 rockets to P1 midway through #BuschPole qualifying on @FS1! https://t.co/qDAXLMtIeh

These two led a group of six Chevrolet cars to lead qualifying before Joey Logano's Ford broke the trend.

It wasn't as good of a day for a few other competitors, as Matt DiBenedetto and Aric Almirola each lost control on their laps:


Trouble for Matt DiBenedetto in #CocaCola600 qualifying! https://t.co/j1XnztYFXD

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Matt DiBenedetto hits the wall off Turn 4 during qualifying at Charlotte. Looked like a pretty decent shot; more than just a brush.


Take a look at @Aric_Almirola's spin coming to the green flag in #BuschPole qualifying. https://t.co/6W4FKDCDDX

Kelly Crandall @KellyCrandall

The 10 snapped around on Aric Almirola coming off Turn 4 coming to the green flag, and he won’t complete a qualifying lap at speed. And just the slightest of contact on the left rear against the outside wall | #NASCAR

The crews will have a short time to repair any damages before the start of the upcoming race later Sunday evening. 

Martin Truex Jr. is the defending champion of this event, while Chase Elliott has also found success in Charlotte. Still, the condensed schedule could create plenty of uncertainty once the green flag is waved.