NASCAR Charlotte Motor Speedway Starting Lineup: Tony Stewart Captures First Pole Of 2011 Chase

Qualifying Thursday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway was close, but Chase contender Tony Stewart was the fastest with a lap of 28.131 seconds at a speed of 191.959 mph. 

Stewart, who was the 36th driver to make an attempt, knocked Matt Kenseth off the provisional pole by a mere 0.006 seconds. 

"That's a (Ryan) Newman lap there," Stewart said. "We've been pretty solid since we unloaded, so that's a perfect way to start the weekend so far."

Missing out on the pole, Kenseth said he "left some out there" and wished he could make another attempt at the lap. Starting second, Kenseth has qualified sixth or better in the four out of the five Chase races. 

Carl Edwards had a strong run going, but lost a lot of time off the exit of the fourth corner and posted the third-fastest time of the session.

"If I would have known how good we were down the back straightaway I would have gone a little easier through (Turns) 3 and 4," Edwards said with a smile. "It's nice to be disappointed with third-place in qualifying."

Joey Logano held the top spot for much of the time early in the session until Dale Earnhardt Jr. set off a string of cars that exchanged the provisional pole until Stewart captured the top spot with 10 cars to go. 

Here is the complete starting lineup for Saturday's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Chase drivers in bold):

  1. Tony Stewart
  2. Matt Kenseth
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. AJ Allmendinger
  5. Greg Biffle
  6. Ryan Newman
  7. Paul Menard
  8. Kasey Kahne
  9. Jimmie Johnson
  10. Trevor Bayne
  11. David Ragan
  12. Marcos Ambrose
  13. Mark Martin
  14. Kevin Harvick
  15. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 
  16. Joey Logano
  17. Denny Hamlin
  18. Martin Truex Jr.
  19. Clint Bowyer
  20. Kurt Busch
  21. Regan Smith
  22. Bobby Labonte
  23. Jeff Gordon
  24. Casey Mears
  25. Kyle Busch
  26. Brad Keselowski
  27. Jamie McMurray
  28. Jeff Burton
  29. David Reutimann
  30. Landon Cassill
  31. Brian Vickers
  32. Juan Pablo Montoya
  33. David Gilliland
  34. Travis Kvapil
  35. Dave Blaney
  36. David Stremme
  37. Michael McDowell
  38. JJ Yeley
  39. Joe Nemechek
  40. Andy Lally
  41. Robby Gordon
  42. Hermie Sadler
  43. Mike Bliss

DNQ: Geoffrey Bodine, Scott Speed, Josh Wise

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