CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Greg Biffle won the pole Thursday night for Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the first NASCAR Cup race without an Earnhardt in 33 years.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is sitting out the next two races after sustaining his second concussion this year during a 25-car car crash last week at Talladega. Regan Smith, who'll drive Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevrolet, qualified 26th.
Biffle turned a track-record lap of 193.708 mph in his No. 16 Ford and will start alongside Mark Martin on the front row for the fifth race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Ryan Newman was third, followed by Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.
AJ Allmendinger qualified 38th in his first action since being suspended July 7 for failing a random drug test.