Photo: Stephen A. Arce/ASP, Inc.

Kurt Busch Leads Chevrolet Parade in Qualifying for Coca-Cola 600

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

The Bowtie Brigade showed up during Sunday’s Busch Pole Qualifying for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as they occupy the first three rows with Kurt Busch being the top Chevrolet driver.

Busch earned his 28th NASCAR Cup Series pole after clocking in at 29.790 seconds (181.269 mph) to dethrone eight-time Charlotte winner Jimmie Johnson off the top spot. Not only it’s the 2004 Cup Series champion’s first pole with Chip Ganassi Racing, it’s also his first since the 2018 fall race at Talladega.

Following his pole run, the 2010 Coke 600 winner was beyond proud of his crew chief Matt McCall and the entire No. 1 team for their excellent communications that led to him leading the field to the green flag for the 400-lap event. Hoping that it’s the start of greater things to come as his owner Chip Ganassi turned 62 today.

“I’m just so proud of Matt McCall and all our guys and the way we have to communicate right now, and get through everything as far as those last-minute details and those fine adjustments. But, wow, what a Chevrolet brigade up front. This is pretty sweet,” Busch exclaimed. “Gearwrench is on our car only a few times a year and I really want to push them up front. This is an awesome pole. I was more geared up, in my mind, towards downforce and being ready for 600 miles, so this means Matt McCall has something up his sleeve and we should be good tonight. This is a great run and happy birthday, Chip!”

Chase Elliott will start third followed by Busch’s teammate Matt Kenseth, who also had a solid qualifying effort as he’ll start fourth as he’ll be gunning for his first Coca-Cola 600 win in 20 years.

A pair of Richard Childress Racing drivers occupies the third row with rookie Tyler Reddick and 2017 Coke 600 winner Austin Dillon rounding out the top Chevy drivers.

Live coverage of Sunday’s race begins at 6:00 pm EST on FOX.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis does video and photography, and is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.