Aric Almirola has captured the pole for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Clint Bowyer, Almirola's Stewart Haas Racing teammate, paced the first two 10-minute sessions and looked on pace to claim the top starting spot for Sunday’s race.

Almirola pulled the trigger with two minutes left in the final session and lapped the 1.54-mile oval at 30.550 (181.473 mph) to set the fastest lap of the day.

The pole is Almirola’s first NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series pole since the 2012 Coca-Cola 600, 234 races ago. It is also the first for the Ford Mustang in NASCAR competition.

The 34-year-old from Tampa, Florida noted that the key to his pole was the effort of the team back at the shop and at the track.

“We’re running wide-open now, so it’s getting more and more about the car now in qualifying,” said the driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang.

“It’s the engineers and all the guys who work on the cars. It’s about details. As the rules get tighter and tighter, it’s really about all the little things, all the little details.”

“We tried to make sure we got clean laps and didn’t get bottled up on the end of pit road. We knew that final round that the second lap was going to be good and we were able to be fast enough in the first two rounds to get it done on lap one, and I really think it paid off in the final round.”

Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. quietly broke up the SHR party as he clocked the second fastest lap making his fourth consecutive top ten start at Atlanta.

Bowyer settled for third but completed a Ford sweep of the top three while Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin ended up fourth and Daniel Suarez made it three SHR cars in top five.

Two-time Atlanta winner Kyle Busch was the fastest Toyota and will start his 500th NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Start from sixth. Kyle Larson was the fastest Chevrolet in seventh and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kurt Busch was eighth while Martin Truex, Jr. and Austin Dillon completed the top ten.

Among the notables in the back of the grid was defending Atlanta race winner Kevin Harvick. As his three SHR teammates qualified in the top ten, Harvick’s day was plagued with power steering issues.

His team changed two power steering pumps in the afternoon, but the problem persisted in qualifying and Harvick ended the day 18th.

“Our Busch Ford Mustang is a little bit of a handful right now,” said Harvick. “We don’t really know what to change to make it different. If we were in the race right now, we would be in the garage and headed home.

“It’s been a rough day they have changed everything on the car and nothing has fixed it.”