By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
CONCORD, N.C. – After qualifying for the Bank of America Roval 400 finished, William Byron became the first driver to sweep the pole on both Charlotte Motor Speedway configurations.
Byron won the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 earlier this season on the oval configuration. Today, the No. 24 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 topped the speed charts once again on the road course. His 103.198 MPH, 1:20.983 second lap narrowly edged out his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman.
“I feel like if I would describe it, the team had 80 percent of the effort of the in the 600 pole. We were really close to wide open, if not wide open. This one, means a lot for me because it takes a team effort for sure. The guys have to bring a good racecar and you have to do your homework as a driver. I’m proud of that.
“It’s shown that we can be at a high level, when we’re on, we’re on. We’ve been able to put together some really good starting efforts, good race finishes.”
The second-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver admitted he ‘messed-up’ the final chicane on the frontstretch, lightly damaging his Chevrolet.
“We’re going to have to fix a quarter-panel,” Byron admitted. “I kind of missed that one, but I was trying to get all I could. I knew I was a little bit weak under the brakes the first couple of runs in Q-trim today, so I tried to fix it and maybe fixed it a little bit too good. The guys did a great job with this car and it really takes every corner around this racetrack to get a pole.”
The speed in Byron’s Chevrolet was evident as he was third fastest in the only Friday practice session. Fellow Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson was fastest.
Charlotte marks the fifth pole for Byron this season and of his career.
Entering Charlotte, Byron holds the cutoff for the Round of 12 for the Cup Series playoffs. He has just a two-point cushion over Bowman. Only a win can truly guarantee the continuation of Byron’s championship hopes.