Harrison Burton, in the No. 21 DEX Imaging Mustang, has qualified a Cup-career-best third for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, the final race of the 26-race regular season.
Burton earned that spot with a lap at 181.404 miles per hour in Friday’s qualifying session.
He was sixth in the opening round of qualifying, with a lap at 181.068 mph, which put him in the final qualifying round.
There was no practice prior to qualifying.
Friday’s effort was Burton’s second top-five start of the season. The first, a fifth-place, came at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month.
With a win in Saturday’s race, any Cup regular driver not already assured of a berth in the 10-race Playoffs can join the elite 16 that will compete for the series championship.
The Coke Zero 400 is scheduled to get the green flag just after 7 p.m. Saturday with TV coverage on NBC.
Stage breaks are planned for Laps 35 and 95.