William Byron wins Southern 500 pole in ‘Days of Thunder’ car

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DARLINGTON, S.C. – William Byron, driving a car that pays tribute to “Days of Thunder” won the pole for Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500.

Byron will start first after a lap of 172.487 mph in car that has a paint scheme similar to what Tom Cruise’s character, Cole Trickle, drove in the movie.

MORE: Rowdy Burns rides again at Darlingtoin; actor fondly recalls “Days of Thunder”

Byron becomes the third driver in NASCAR history to win the pole for the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500 in the same season. Fireball Roberts accomplished the feat in 1962 and Bill Elliott matched it in 1985.

This is Byron’s fourth career Cup pole.

Brad Keselowski qualified second after a lap of 172.088 mph. He was followed by Kyle Larson (171.842 mph), Kurt Busch (171.764) and Daniel Suarez (171.321).

Click here for qualifying results

Kyle Busch qualified 33rd but will start at the rear of the field for an unapproved adjustment for an engine change.