CONCORD, N.C. — Report by Race Chaser Online Northeast Correspondent Kyle Magda — NASCAR photo —
Mother Nature was nice to Charlotte Motor Speedway for most of Saturday.
But, the sunny skies were no more when the rains came.
Thunderstorms from the west headed towards CMS and a deluge hovered over the speedway, forcing NASCAR officials to cancel All-Star qualifying and set the field by owner points, giving 2014 Cup champ Kevin Harvick the pole.
This is the first time Harvick leads the field to the green in the All-Star Race. Joining Harvick on the front row is defending Cup champ Kyle Busch in his special No. 75 M&M’s Toyota Camry signifying the company’s 75th anniversary.
Kyle’s brother Kurt rolls off from third with another Joe Gibbs Racing car in Carl Edwards fourth. The top-four have combined for six wins in 2016 (Ky. Busch 3, Edwards 2 and Harvick 1). Ku. Busch won the All-Star Race in 2010 after literally tearing down the outside retaining walls and repairing the car to come back to score the victory.
Four-time All-Star winner Jimmie Johnson starts fifth and also has four wins in the Coca-Cola 600.
Brad Keselowski is sixth in points and will be on the outside in sixth once the green flag drops for the 32nd-annual All-Star Race.
Fan Vote winner Chase Elliott got edged in both first and third segments of the Sprint Showdown, but the fans were on his side to get into the million-dollar affair and starts seventh, still looking for any kind of Cup victory to add to his already impressive resume.
The rookie is joined by 2015 Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano in eighth, still looking to crack into the win column this season.
Another driver close to victory lane, Martin Truex Jr.. starts ninth in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota as his former XFINITY Series owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. rolls off from 10th.
NASCAR is waiting for the rain to stop and as soon as the storm passes, track drying will begin and make every effort to get the All-Star Race in tonight.
STARTING GRID: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Sprint All-Star Race; Charlotte Motor Speedway; May 21, 2016
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Busch
- Kurt Busch
- Carl Edwards
- Jimmie Johnson
- Brad Keselowski
- Chase Elliott
- Joey Logano
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Matt Kenseth
- Denny Hamlin
- Jamie McMurray
- Kasey Kahne
- Ryan Newman
- Trevor Bayne
- Tony Stewart
- Kyle Larson
- Danica Patrick
- Greg Biffle