HAMPTON — Racing weekend officially kicked off Friday with Aspen Pole Qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Kevin Harvick claimed just his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole at AMS with a qualifying time of 29.118 Harvick last won the pole at AMS in 2014 and finished 19th in that late-season event. His lone checkered flag came in his first race at the 1.54-mile track, back in 2001
Harvick beat Ryan Newman, whose seven poles at Atlanta are tied with Buddy Baker for most all-time, with a lap speed of 190.398 mph. Newman went around in 29.199 seconds (189.870 mph).
Thursday Thunder alumni didn’t fare well in the MENCS qualifying day except for Joey Logano and Chase Elliott, who managed to qualify in the top 12 of the field.
Logano led the Thursday Thunder contingent in qualifying with a sixth- place starting position for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Elliott will start in 11th place with his No. 24 Chevy.
Austin Dillon came in 19th after advancing to the second round of the knockout qualifying. Austin’s brother Ty will start 26th. Chris Buescher, sporting a new car and team this season, qualified 28th.
Peachtree City’s Reed Sorenson and Unadilla native David Ragan will both roll off in 33rd and 34th, respectively.