clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NASCAR Charlotte 2016 qualifying results: Kevin Harvick wins 1st pole of season

Kevin Harvick wins first pole since March 2015, Alex Bowman qualifies career-best second.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Among the leaders in several major statistical categories, Kevin Harvick has been superb in most areas this season -- with the exception of qualifying. The 2014 Sprint Cup changed that Thursday night, capturing the pole for Saturday's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Harvick's lap of 196.029 mph edged Alex Bowman (196.000 mph) to win his first pole since March 2015 at Phoenix International Raceway, and first in 32 attempts at Charlotte, a track where's he won three times.

"We haven't had the speed that we've needed on qualifying day really, all year," Harvick said. "This is the first time it's just fired off like it did today and run fast and had the speed that we needed."

Bowman's second-place place effort represented a career-best. The 23-year-old is substituting for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is out for remainder of the season recovering from a concussion, and hoping to use the opportunity to secure a full-time ride.

"There are not really any rides open next year, so this maybe these however many races left we have maybe the rest of my Cup career," Bowman said. "You never really know what the future holds."

Chase Elliott qualified third, followed by Kyle Busch in fourth, Tony Stewart fifth, A.J. Allmendinger sixth, Martin Truex Jr. seventh, Carl Edwards eighth, Denny Hamlin ninth, and Joey Logano 10th.

Charlotte is the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup quarterfinal round. A win Saturday by one of the 12 Chase drivers would automatically advance them to the semifinal round, which carries added importance with the Round 2 elimination race at the foreboding Talladega Superspeedway.

"I think everybody has the same goal to try to win one of these two races to eliminate that possibility," Harvick said. "But really, any of these races can jump up and bite you at really any particular time just because of the fact that you just never know.

"Obviously, Talladega has the most things out of your control. So if you can get to Victory Lane it's a huge benefit in this first round in the next two weeks."

Matt Kenseth (qualified 17th), Austin Dillon (19th), Brad Keselowski (20th), and Kurt Busch (23rd) were the only Chase drivers failing to transfer to the final segment of the three-round qualifying session.

"We just lacked a little bit of speed in qualifying trim, but the race trim stuff we did today I felt we were really, really fast, so that was encouraging," Keselowski said. "You want to qualify and race good, but it's more important to race good."


Position Driver Speed
1 Kevin Harvick 196.029
2 Alex Bowman 196.000
3 Chase Elliott 195.759
4 Kyle Busch 195.228
5 Tony Stewart 195.228
6 AJ Allmendinger 195.087
7 Martin Truex Jr 194.826
8 Carl Edwards 194.553
9 Denny Hamlin 194.168
10 Joey Logano 194.049
11 Jimmie Johnson 192.630
12 Kasey Kahne 188.547
13 Danica Patrick 194.161
14 Greg Biffle 194.007
15 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 193.966
16 Jamie McMurray 193.868
17 Matt Kenseth 193.791
18 Ryan Blaney 193.736
19 Austin Dillon 193.722
20 Brad Keselowski 193.625
21 Ryan Newman 193.209
22 Michael McDowell 193.009
23 Kurt Busch 192.205
24 Matt DiBenedetto 191.489
25 Kyle Larson 191.980
26 Chris Buescher 191.829
27 Trevor Bayne 191.544
28 Paul Menard 191.530
29 Casey Mears 191.469
30 Brian Scott 191.381
31 Clint Bowyer 190.954
32 Landon Cassill 190.617
33 Aric Almirola 190.564
34 David Ragan 190.054
35 Regan Smith 188.864
36 Cole Whitt 186.002
37 Michael Annett 185.976
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt 185.039
39 Reed Sorenson 183.673
40 Josh Wise 183.343