On Friday afternoon, it’d be Austin Dillon laying down a lap of 27.747 seconds at Charlotte Motor Speedway to win the pole for the 29th Annual Sprint Showdown.
The race is set up for drivers who have not locked themselves into the Sprint All-Star Race to run. The top two finishers in the 40 lap race tonight will get to run the All-Star race tomorrow.
Dillon, a rookie this year, went out mid-way through the single-car qualifying session and laid down the quickest lap despite being mid-pack in practice.
“These guys did a great job,” the driver of the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet said. “The car was hard to drive during practice and we changed a lot as best as we could and used our teammates to try and get better. I came to the green pretty hard and we were a little free off of two – but it paid off. Hopefully we can do well tonight and get into the all-star race. We’re going to give it all we got. It was a huge improvement from practice. It’s like a win for us.”
AJ Allmendinger qualified second in his No. 47 Freightliner/Miller Welders Chevrolet, eight-hundreths off of Dillon’s time. For Richard Childress Racing, it gives them a sweep of the front row. Allmendinger is running for JTG Daughtry Racing, but JTG entered a technical alliance with RCR this year.
“To go out that early and put a lap down like that, it’s good,” he said. “We’re just digging away. We have a fast Chevy. I was just hoping to be in the top five and to be on the front row, it’s great. We’re going to head out there and run hard in the 40 lap showdown.”
Kyle Larson qualified third, followed by Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose.
Paul Menard qualified sixth, followed by Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Casey Mears and Aric Almirola.