McMurray traveled one lap around the 1.366-mile oval in 180.370 miles per hour. It was his second pole of the season and the fifth of his Sprint Cup career.
Several drivers crashed during the two practice sessions held Friday, including Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Jeff Gordon qualified second, missing the pole by .007 of a second. Gordon has won seven times at Darlington.
Brian Vickers was third fastest, followed by David Reutimann and defending champion Mark Martin. The Top 10 was rounded out by Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne. Points leader Kevin Harvick qualified 35th.
The race will be held Saturday.