Busch Pole Qualifying for the Folds of Honor 500
Date: Feb. 22, 2019
Event: Busch Pole qualifying for the Folds of Honor 500
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (30.550 seconds at 181.473 mph)
● Aric Almirola (1st, 30.550 seconds at 181.473 mph in Round 1)
● Clint Bowyer (3rd, 30.730 seconds at 180.410 mph in Round 1)
● Daniel Suárez (5th, 30.763 seconds at 180.216 mph in Round 1)
● Kevin Harvick (18th, 30.991 seconds at 178.891 mph in Round 2)
Format involved three rounds of knockout qualifying:
● Round 1: 10 minutes, top-24 advance to Round 2. (Sets positions 25-37.)
● Round 2: 10 minutes, top-12 advance to Round 3. (Sets positions 13-24.)
● Round 3: 5 minutes, top-12 battle for the pole. (Sets positions 1-12.)
● This was the 45th Busch Pole for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s first of the season.
● Almirola won his second career Busch Pole, his first at Atlanta and his first of the season.
● Almirola’s last Busch Pole came on May 24, 2012 when he won the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
● Almirola scored his second top-10 start of the season and his second top-10 start in nine events at Atlanta. His previous best qualifying effort at Atlanta was seventh in 2014.
● SHR placed three of its four drivers in the third and final round of qualifying.
● Bowyer earned his second top-10 start of the season and his fifth top-10 start in 19 events at Atlanta. This was his second straight top-10 starting spot at Atlanta.
● Suárez notched his first top-10 start of the season and his second top-10 start in three events at Atlanta. This is his second straight top-10 starting spot at Atlanta. Suárez’s best qualifying effort at Atlanta was fourth last year.
● Harvick is the defending winner of the Folds of Honor 500. He won last year’s race by 2.69 seconds over runner-up Brad Keselowski and led eight times for a race-high 181 laps.
● Ford took four of the top-five starting spots in the Folds of Honor 500.
● The Folds of Honor 500 starts at 2 p.m. EST on Sunday with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with a pre-race show at 1:30 p.m.