Continued from page 1

“There were a lot of good cars at the end of the session and that kept leading up to things getting faster and faster,” Harvick said.

Gordon called it “the most exciting qualifying pole ever.”

Harvick said he would have been happy starting on the outside row had he not won from the pole last week at Kansas.

“Obviously we wanted to be greedy and get that again tonight,” Harvick said. “But it’s been nice to see the speed. It seems like everybody is able to find a little more and dig deeper when it is Chase time.”

Kyle Larson, making his Sprint Cup debut in Phoenix Racing’s No. 51 Chevrolet, qualified 21st.

Johnson, who has had incredible success at Charlotte, is hoping for a good finish to jump ahead of Kenseth. Johnson enters the weekend three points behind Kenseth.

“We’ve had some really strong runs here over the years,” Johnson said.

Travis Kvapil qualified 41st one day after being released from police custody on $2,000 bond. He was arrested Tuesday and charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and false imprisonment.

“I’m obviously embarrassed about the situation,” Kvapil said. “I don’t like the negative effects that it has brought on. So I apologize to NASCAR, my team, supporters of my team, my fans and anyone else that was impacted by Tuesday night.”