NASCAR Nationwide Series championship leader Chase Elliott has scored his second pole of 2014 for tonight’s Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Elliott’s lap of 181.354 mph in the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet was set early in the final round of knockout qualifying and was able to stand up over Matt Kenseth’s lap of 180.977 mph in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
It’s the perfect place to be for Elliott, who will try to extend his 38-point lead in the championship this evening. Elliott can win the title with a Top-5 finish in each of the final four races.
Behind Elliott and Kenseth in Row 2 will be Richard Childress Racing’s Brian Scott and JGR’s Elliott Sadler. Kyle Busch, who’s won back-to-back Nationwide Series races, shall try to make it three in a row from the inside of Row 3 alongside Sprint Cup super-rookie Kyle Larson.
Another Cup rookie, Alex Bowman, will line up in Row 4 with Trevor Bayne. Ryan Reed and Brad Keselowski will start from Row 5.
Regan Smith, Elliott’s closest pursuer in the title race, is starting farther back from 22nd in the field. That may not bode well for his battle for second place in the standings with Ty Dillon, who qualified 11th. Smith is only up by two points over Dillon.
Green flag for tonight’s 300-miler is scheduled to drop shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET.