Aric Almirola Wins Coca-Cola 600 Pole at Charlotte
Charlotte - Aric Almirola raced to the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 with a lap of 192.940 mph Thursday night, giving Richard Petty Motorsports a front-row sweep at Charlotte Motor Speedway for NASCAR's longest race.
Teammate Marcus Ambrose was second at 191.598 in qualifying for the Sunday night race.
Almirola, gearing up for his first series race at Charlotte, and Ambrose took advantage of cooler track conditions late in qualifying. Almirola's lap was more than a mile an hour faster than the rest of the field. Jimmie Johnson, who won last week's All-Star race, was third, followed by Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer.
Mark Martin heads the second five, then it's Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard and Regan Smith. Other qualifiers include Dale Earnhardt 12th, Kyle Busch 17th, Tony Stewart 21st, Jeff Burton 22nd and Jeff Gordon 23rd.
Kurt Busch will start at the back of the field after wrecking in qualifying.
Danica Patrick will start 40th in her first Coca-Cola 600.