Byron Speeds to Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 Pole in Bojangles' Qualifying
If this year is any indication, there's truly no place like home for William Byron. The 21-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina, native won the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 in May and backed it up on Friday with a scintillating lap to qualify first for Sunday's Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL™.
Byron's one minute, 20.932-second lap at an average speed of 103.198 miles per hour edged Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman in a close battle for the pole throughout Bojangles' Qualifying. Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano qualified third. Jimmie Johnson - a four-time Bank of America fall race winner - will start fourth with Clint Bowyer fifth.
Kevin Harvick qualified sixth with Kyle Larson seventh, Martin Truex Jr. eighth and Ryan Blaney, the inaugural ROVAL™ winner, ninth. Paul Menard rounded out the top 10.
Byron's pole was the fifth of his career and his fifth this season. He is the youngest driver to ever win a NASCAR Cup Series pole on Charlotte Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile superspeedway as well as the 17-turn, 2.28-mile ROVAL™. Additionally, Byron became the first driver to sweep poles on Charlotte's oval and ROVAL™ in the same year.
WILLIAM BYRON, No. 24 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro (Pole Winner): "We've had a good day here at Charlotte. The first run in practice went pretty smooth. I just kind of had to go back to the bus and think about it, then talk to my guys about it and we did some things to the car. We just made those little improvements that we felt like have led to our success in qualifying. The car has been getting a little better and I've been getting a little better. It just all came together at the same time. I almost messed it up on the last chicane when I locked the tires up, but I knew I had to get in there pretty hard. Fortunately, we came out with the pole and I'm really excited about Sunday now.
"It's just having the ability to be close on the car, to just kind of hone in on the little details on the car. We don't really panic a lot when it comes to qualifying. If we're close, we just try and fine-tune it. And we do a good job in that space of fine tuning, whether it's me or the car. We ran a 1:21.50 in practice and we knew we had to pick up from that to probably get the pole. And we were able to go a 1:20.90 or something. In the 600 pole, the team had 80 percent of the effort. This one means a lot for me because I feel like it was a team effort for sure, but you have got to do your homework as a driver, too. I'm proud of that. It shows we can compete at a high level."