Kurt Busch Wins Bank of America ROVAL 400 Pole, Playoff Drivers Struggle

CONCORD, NC – The drivers were all concerned about this weekend’s action on the ROVAL at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. In fact, several stated that the starting position for Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) would be the biggest key of the race itself.

The reason?

Expect carnage early and often. With how tight Turn 1 is going to be and how the infield road course section plays out, everyone is expecting an early race crash. If that happens, the track isn’t wide enough to get by which will bottleneck everyone up creating a chain reaction crash.

So, while six of the top seven in Sunday’s starting lineup are playoff drivers, several more struggled and are on notice for this weekend’s cut off race.

Kurt Busch is sitting pretty with earning the pole in his No. 41 Ford. He circled the 2.28-mile track with a speed of 106.868 mph. It was his 26th career Busch Pole Award tying him with Bobby Labonte for 29th all-time. This was also his fourth pole of the season too and third top six starting spot over the last four races.

Five other playoff drivers will join him up front with Alex Bowman (3rd), Chase Elliott (4th), Kyle Larson (5th), Jimmie Johnson (6th) and Clint Bowyer (7th). The only non playoff driver in the first 3 Rows is AJ Allmendinger who will roll off second in his No. 47 Chevrolet.

The bigger story though is who’s not up there.

The “Big 4?”

Well none made it to the final round of qualifying and will start in harms way.

Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch will share Row 7 in starting 13th and 14th respectively. Kevin Harvick will start 19th. Brad Keselowski starts 25th.

Denny Hamlin got into the wall while exiting the backstretch chicane and while he was able to fix his damage, he only qualify 27th. The team will change the motor and fix all the problems and just start last. He had seven top four starting spots in the last nine races.

Joey Logano (15th), Aric Almirola (20th) and Austin Dillon (24th) also will start in the back.

Bank of America ROVAL 400 Starting Lineup

Row 1: Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger

Row 2: Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott

Row 3: Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson

Row 4: Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray

Row 5: Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher

Row 6: Daniel Hemric, Erik Jones

Row 7: Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch

Row 8: Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne

Row 9: Daniel Suarez, Michael McDowell

Row 10: Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola

Row 11: William Byron R, Paul Menard

Row 12: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon

Row 13: Brad Keselowski, Ty Dillon

Row 14: Denny Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto

Row 15: Ryan Newman, David Ragan

Row 16: Justin Marks, Regan Smith

Row 17: Cole Whitt, Darrell Wallace Jr. R

Row 18: Ross Chastain, JJ Yeley

Row 19: Jeffrey Earnhardt, Landon Cassill

Row 20: Stanton Barrett, Timmy Hill

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