Greg Biffle broke the Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR qualifying track record with a 27.877-second lap on Thursday evening to claim the pole for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track.
“It feels so good,” Biffle said after the qualifying session. “We’ve been working so hard. We’ve been down in the dumps because we haven’t started the Chase that well.”
Biffle was actually one of three drivers who surpassed the old track record. Mark Martin turned in a qualifying lap time of 27.927 seconds and Ryan Newman a lap time of 27.943 seconds to beat the old record and claim the second and third spots on the starting grid for Saturday’s race.
“I went into turn one, and it (the car) was dragging, scraping, rubbing,” Martin said. “I didn’t think it would do it.”
After being selected as the driver of the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet for Charlotte to replace the departed Kurt Busch, Regan Smith moved over to the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to fill-in for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has been benched after suffering his second concussion in six weeks last Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Smith qualified 26th in the No. 88.
“I’m just trying to fill some big shoes this weekend,” Smith said.
Busch qualified 21st in his first time out behind the wheel of Smith’s former ride, the No. 78 Chevrolet of Furniture Row Racing.
A.J. Allmendinger, making his first race since his indefinite suspension in July, qualified 38th in the No. 51 car.
“I think I’m behind the car right now,” Allmendinger said of being a little rusty. “The car’s pretty quick.”
Martin Truex qualified fourth, and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
Below, is the complete starting order for the Bank of America 500: