Byron Makes History, Earns Southern 500 Pole

William Byron has become a big game qualifier. Earlier this season, the second year driver earned the pole for the Daytona 500. Then, back in May, Byron qualified first for the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. Now, Byron will start on the pole for another prestigious race – the Southern 500.

Byron, circled the 1.366-mile Darlington Raceway with a lap of 172.487 mph in his No. 24 Chevrolet en route to his fourth Busch Pole Award of the season. He joins Fireball Roberts (1962) and Bill Elliott (1985) as the only drivers to have won poles in all three races in the same season.

Defending race winner Brad Keselowski (172.088 mph) will start second in his No. 2 Ford, just .066 seconds off from the top starting spot.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s duo of Kyle Larson (171.842 mph) and Kurt Busch (171.764 mph) will share Row 2 in starting third and fourth respectively.

Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five in his No. 48 Chevrolet.

Kyle Busch had an engine problem and only qualified 33rd. He will change the engine and drop to the rear at the start of Sunday night’s race.

Southern 500 Starting Lineup

Row 1: William Byron, Brad Keselowski

Row 2: Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch

Row 3: Daniel Suarez, Jimmie Johnson

Row 4: Joey Logano, Chase Elliott

Row 5: Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney

Row 6: Kevin Harvick, Chris Buescher

Row 7: Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon

Row 8: Erik Jones, Alex Bowman

Row 9: Paul Menard, Daniel Hemric R

Row 10: Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Preece R

Row 11: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr.

Row 12: Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman

Row 13: Landon Cassill, David Ragan

Row 14: Corey LaJoie, Darrell Wallace Jr.

Row 15: Ty Dillon, Aric Almirola

Row 16: Ross Chastain, Matt Tifft R

Row 17: Kyle Busch, Reed Sorenson

Row 18: JJ Yeley, BJ McLeod

Row 19: Joe Nemechek, Garrett Smithley

Row 20: Joey Gase

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