Clint Bowyer bested Kyle Busch to take the pole tomorrow evening's Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Qualifying for tomorrow's four-segment race featured two timed laps with a mandatory pitstop with no speed limit.

Bowyer logged the fastest timed laps on the 1.5 mile oval capped off with a 4-tire pitstop of 14.8 seconds which vaulted him to his first All-Star Race pole in 10 appearances.

While it doesn't count for points, it ends a 12-year pole drought for the 39-year-old from Emporia, Kansas. His last pole came at the fall New Hampshire race where he went on to win his first of ten Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins.

The driver of the No. 14 Toco Ford Mustang for Stewart Haas Racing noted that the unique format required a precision oriented skillset and was surprised that he mastered it.

"It's so easy to make mistakes in that because it's so out of the ordinary of what we usually do," he said. "I actually didn't get on pit road near as good as I wanted to.

"I had my dead-set line that I was going to get to and would lift at and when I didn't get on pit road like I needed to, I drove past that and I was like, 'Oh no, I'm going to get stuck' and my eyes were getting bigger."

Kyle Busch came up .177s short and will start on the outside of the front row in his No. 18 M&Ms Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Defending race winner Kevin Harvick slotted in third ahead of Austin Dillon in fourth and Martin Truex, Jr in fifth.

2002 race winner Ryan Newman will roll off sixth alongside All-Star race debutant Erik Jones. Jimmie Johnson, who leads all drivers with four All-Star wins, will start from eighth. Team Penske's Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano rounded out the top ten after encountering miscues on their respective pitstops.

Blaney accidentally pitted in the stall before his as Logano overran his box. The remaining Penske entry of Brad Keselowski also had an issue as a loose lug nut netted him a five-second penalty and relegated him to 14th.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Kurt Busch was reprimanded for the same infraction and will roll off 15th.

Tomorrow evening's 85-lap race is divided into four stages totaling 30, 20, 20 and 15 laps apiece. Overtime rules are in effect for the first three stages while the final stage will see unlimited attempts at a green flag finish.

Eligible drivers consist of winners from 2018 and past winners of the All-Star race. The cars will debut two body modifications that are under consideration for NASCAR's Generation-7 car which is set for a 2021 debut.

The front splitter features a wider pan that increases front downforce and the radiator ducts exit out of the hood rather than back into the engine. 

Qualifying for the preliminary Monster Energy Open featured the traditional single-lap qualifying and saw Richard Childress Racing's Daniel Hemric take the pole. Lining up second is Michael McDowell ahead of William Byron in third, Daniel Suarez in fourth and Paul Menard in fifth.

The Open features three stages lapped at 20, 20 and 10. The winner of each stage will transfer to the main event along with a driver voted in by fans.

 

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