NSCS: Richard Petty Motorsports sweeps front row for Coca-Cola 600

May 24, 2012 No Comments

Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Aric Almirola has never started a race from the pole, that is until Sunday when he’ll start the longest race of the season when Almirola will start from the best position on the track.

Joining him on the front row will be his Richard Petty Motorsports teammate, Marcos Ambrose.

Almirola’s lap of 27.988 seconds/192.940 mph was the fastest of the 47 cars that attempted to qualify for Sunday night’s race.

“Memorial day weekend, with the [United States] Air Force on hood that’s pretty cool,” Almirola said to Speed Channel about his sponsorship and the connection to the weekend. “We came this week with something totally different.”

This weekend will be the first time that Almirola has started from the pole in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career. He becomes the ninth different pole winner this year.

“Man this is special,” Almirola said after qualifying finished. “To get my first pole here at Charlotte and be able to go home and sleep in my own bed this is special.”

Almirola un-seated the All-Star winner Jimmie Johnson from the pole late in the qualifying session. Johnson will start third and was the fastest qualifying Chevrolet. The fastest Toyota was Clint Bowyer, who will start in the fifth position on Sunday.

Dodge’s best effort was A.J. Allmendinger who qualified in 11th for the race. Greg Biffle makes three Fords in the top-five with his fourth place qualifying effort.

Four cars and teams failed to make the show, they include the No.19 of Mike Bliss, the No. 23 of Scott Riggs and the No. 49 of J.J. Yeley. Also failing to make the show was the 2009 winner of the Coca-Cola 600 and BK Racing driver David Reutimann in the No. 73, this is the first time this year that BK Racing has failed to qualify for a race it is also the first race Reutimann has missed since leaving Michael Waltrip Racing.

Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup: 

  1. Aric Almirola
  2. Marcos Ambrose
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Greg Biffle
  5. Clint Bowyer
  6. Mark Martin
  7. Kasey Kahne
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Paul Menard
  10. Regan Smith
  11. A.J. Allmendinger
  12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  13. Trevor Bayne
  14. Kevin Harvick
  15. Martin Truex Jr.
  16. Ryan Newman
  17. Kyle Busch
  18. Landon Cassill
  19. Joey Logano
  20. Matt Kenseth
  21. Tony Stewart
  22. Jeff Burton
  23. Jeff Gordon
  24. Brad Keselowski
  25. Casey Mears
  26. Bobby Labonte
  27. Cole Whitt
  28. Carl Edwards
  29. Juan Pablo Montoya
  30. David Ragan
  31. Jamie McMurray
  32. Michael McDowell
  33. Josh Wise
  34. Stephen Leicht
  35. David Stremme
  36. Dave Blaney
  37. Travis Kvapil
  38. Scott Speed
  39. David Gilliland
  40. Danica Patrick
  41. T.J. Bell
  42. Kurt Busch
  43. Joe Nemechek
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