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