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Kevin Harvick takes Texas Cup Series pole

AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, November 2, 2019

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Kevin Harvick
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Kevin Harvick took the first step toward getting back on the right side of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff cut line, winning the pole for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Harvick, who trails fourth-place Joey Logano by 14 points entering the second race of the Round of 8, toured the 1.5-mile track in 28.465 seconds (189.707 mph) to win his second Busch Pole Award at Texas, his series-best sixth of the season and the 31st of his career.

Erik Jones, already eliminated from the Playoffs, was second fastest at 188.890 mph, .123 seconds behind Harvick. Denny Hamlin, second in the Playoff standings, qualified third at 188.12 mph, followed by Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman and Aric Almirola.

"The best part is our car drove really well in race trim yesterday and still had a lot of speed when we put it in qualifying trim today," said Harvick, winner of the last two Playoff races at Texas. "So, hopefully, we can keep our track position.

"As you saw the last race (at Texas), you want to be up front and you want to be on the right cycle of rotation of pit strategy. Having that first pit stall is definitely an advantage here. It will be a track position game, and hopefully we can play it right and keep ourselves up front."

Logano will start 11th in his attempt to protect his position in the standings. Other Playoff drivers earned the following positions on the grid: Kyle Busch 12th, Kyle Larson 13th, Chase Elliott 14th, Ryan Blaney 15th and Martin Truex Jr. 17th.

Truex has already qualified for the Nov. 17 Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway by virtue of last Sunday’s victory at Martinsville.

After a broken axle and a 36th-place finish at Martinsville, Elliott trails Logano by 44 points and likely must win one of the next two races to advance to the Championship 4.  

In a substitute role for Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft, who suffered a seizure last Saturday at Martinsville,. John Hunter Nemechek qualified 29th.

"That was the first qualifying run I have ever done in a Cup car," Nemechek said. "It was pretty interesting. We went faster today than we did yesterday. That is a positive. We’re getting faster every time on the race track. It’s a whole new deal for myself, being over here in the Cup garage. Different scenarios, a whole new team. Different communications. A lot of variables that play into this weekend.

"I’m really thankful for the opportunity from (owner) Bob (Jenkins) and everyone at Front Row Motorsports. I hate that the circumstances are like this. I really wish Matt Tifft a speedy recovery and hope he is back at the race track very soon."

RACE LINEUP

Pos # Driver Sponsor/Make Lap Speed
1 4 Kevin Harvick (P) Busch Beer/Ducks Unlimited Ford 28.465 189.707
2 20 Erik Jones Sport Clips Toyota 28.588 188.89
3 11 Denny Hamlin (P) FedEx Office Toyota 28.615 188.712
4 1 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 28.657 188.436
5 88 Alex Bowman Valvoline Chevrolet 28.669 188.357
6 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 28.675 188.317
7 41 Daniel Suarez Walmart Family Mobile Ford 28.723 188.003
8 2 Brad Keselowski Wurth Ford 28.727 187.976
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 28.734 187.931
10 95 Matt DiBenedetto Procore Toyota 28.74 187.891
11 22 Joey Logano (P) AAA Insurance Ford 28.755 187.793
12 18 Kyle Busch (P) M&M's Toyota 28.764 187.735
13 42 Kyle Larson (P) McDonald's Chevrolet 28.782 187.617
14 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 28.817 187.389
15 12 Ryan Blaney (P) Wabash National Ford 28.841 187.233
16 8 Daniel Hemric # Cat Dozers Chevrolet 28.846 187.201
17 19 Martin Truex Jr. (P) Bass Pro Shops Toyota 28.863 187.091
18 24 William Byron Axalta Chevrolet 28.901 186.845
19 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Military Chevrolet 28.901 186.845
20 37 Chris Buescher Slim Jim Chevrolet 28.914 186.761
21 3 Austin Dillon RigUp Chevrolet 28.915 186.754
22 43 Bubba Wallace Covert Auto Group Chevrolet 28.931 186.651
23 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 28.936 186.619
24 14 Clint Bowyer Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford 28.938 186.606
25 6 Ryan Newman Roush Performance Ford 28.951 186.522
26 38 David Ragan Mystik Lubricants Ford 28.983 186.316
27 34 Michael McDowell Love's Travel Stops Ford 29.004 186.181
28 47 Ryan Preece # Kroger Chevrolet 29.018 186.091
29 36 John Hunter Nemechek(i) Speedy Cash Ford 29.097 185.586
30 96 Parker Kligerman(i) TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota 29.123 185.42
31 21 Paul Menard Menards/Jack Links Ford 29.135 185.344
32 0 Landon Cassill(i) Pop-A-Lock Chevrolet 29.194 184.97
33 32 Corey LaJoie Schluter Systems Ford 29.311 184.231
34 53 JJ Yeley(i) Factor One Source Pharmacy Ford 29.534 182.84
35 27 Ross Chastain(i) Low T Center Chevrolet 29.633 182.229
36 52 Garrett Smithley(i) Victory Lane/Kendall Oil Ford 29.83 181.026
37 77 Quin Houff Chevrolet 29.831 181.02
38 15 Joe Nemechek(i) Xchange of America Chevrolet 30.025 179.85
39 51 Josh Bilicki(i) Jacob Companies Chevrolet 30.278 178.347
40 66 Timmy Hill(i) TEX TALK Toyota 30.647 176.2

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