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Harvick wins pole in Kansas

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Friday, October 04, 2013

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Harvick
When you think of potential pole winners for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, Kevin Harvick is nowhere near the top of the list.

But Harvick scratched a seven-year itch during Friday’s time trials at Kansas Speedway.

Covering the 1.5-mile distance in 28.796 seconds (187.526 mph), Harvick won the pole for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, the fourth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

In claiming his first Coors Light pole award after a dry spell of 254 races dating to September 2006 at New Hampshire, Harvick edged Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (187.480 mph) by 0.007 seconds. Harvick earned the top starting spot for a Cup race for the sixth time in 460 tries.

The pole is a good jump start for Harvick in his attempt to reel in Chase leader Matt Kenseth. Harvick is tied for fourth in the standings with Jeff Gordon, 39 points behind Kenseth, 31 behind Jimmie Johnson in second and 27 behind Kyle Busch in third.

Johnson
Johnson qualified third at 187.162 mph, with Brad Keselowski (186.233 mph), Joey Logano (186.168 mph) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (186.072 mph) lining up in positions four through six. Kenseth qualified seventh at 185.893 mph, with Busch a disappointing 18th at 184.603 mph.

With Harvick in a lame-duck season, the result of an announced moved to Stewart-Haas Racing next year, the driver of the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet is used to being discounted when it comes to his championship prospects.

"To be honest with you, I walked into media day (in February at Daytona), and there were two people standing in line to conduct interviews, so from day one of this year, everybody’s kind of written us off," Harvick said.

"We're three races into the Chase, and it is what it is. We've done our thing and put ourselves in position to just go out and race and enjoy it."

Winning the pole gives Harvick the luxury of picking pit stall No. 1, closest to the exit from pit road. That can be a huge factor late in the race.

"The first pit stall is definitely important," Harvick said. "It’s obviously not going to hurt anything to be down on that end of pit road. When it comes down to the end of the race and everybody’s got the two-tire strategy, no-tire strategy, four tires—whatever the strategy may be—you should be able to get off pit road pretty well."

Stenhouse, who won his first career pole in August at Atlanta, was disappointed to miss getting a second one by such a slim margin. To Stenhouse, waiting seven years between poles, as Harvick did, is not an option.

"Hopefully, we don’t go that long without a pole," Stenhouse said. "I really wish that he (Harvick) didn't have a pole, so that I could have another one. I’m getting kind of greedy."

In addition to Harvick, Johnson, Logano, Earnhardt, Kenseth and Kyle Busch, other Chase drivers qualified as follows: Carl Edwards, ninth; Gordon, 14th; Kasey Kahne, 15th; Ryan Newman, 17th; Kurt Busch, 19th; Clint Bowyer, 22nd; and Greg Biffle, 26th.

Note: The pole was the first for Richard Childress Racing since Bowyer was the fastest qualifier for the Chase race at New Hampshire in September 2007.

Lineup

Pos Driver # Make Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet Budweiser 187.526 28.796 Leader
2 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford FORD ECO BOOST 187.480 28.803 --0.007
3 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Lowe's 187.162 28.852 --0.056
4 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford Miller Lite 186.233 28.996 --0.200
5 Joey Logano 22 Ford Shell Pennzoil 186.168 29.006 --0.210
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet Time Warner Cable 186.072 29.021 --0.225
7 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota Dollar General 185.893 29.049 --0.253
8 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet Menards / Splash 185.874 29.052 --0.256
9 Carl Edwards 99 Ford Fastenal 185.669 29.084 --0.288
10 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota FedEx Office 185.433 29.121 --0.325
11 Brian Vickers 55 Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 185.420 29.123 --0.327
12 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet Target 185.261 29.148 --0.352
13 Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 185.204 29.157 --0.361
14 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Axalta 185.141 29.167 --0.371
15 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet Time Warner Cable 184.982 29.192 --0.396
16 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet Caterpillar 184.925 29.201 --0.405
17 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet CODE 3 ASSOCIATES 184.628 29.248 --0.452
18 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota M&M's 184.603 29.252 --0.456
19 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet 184.477 29.272 --0.476
20 Aric Almirola 43 Ford Farmland 184.382 29.287 --0.491
21 Justin Allgaier 51 Chevrolet Brandt 184.106 29.331 --0.535
22 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota Raspberry 5-Hour Energy benefiting Living Beyond Breast Cancer 183.730 29.391 --0.595
23 Mark Martin 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats 183.667 29.401 --0.605
24 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet CESSNA 183.380 29.447 --0.651
25 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford Mac Tools 183.069 29.497 --0.701
26 Greg Biffle 16 Ford Sherwin-Williams 182.803 29.540 --0.744
27 David Reutimann 83 Toyota Burger King-Dr. Pepper 182.685 29.559 --0.763
28 AJ Allmendinger 47 Toyota Scott Products - Win My Car 182.531 29.584 --0.788
29 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet GoDaddy 182.039 29.664 --0.868
30 Cole Whitt 30 Toyota Swan Energy 182.020 29.667 --0.871
31 Michael McDowell 98 Ford Phil Parsons Racing 181.971 29.675 --0.879
32 David Ragan 34 Ford Taco Bell 181.959 29.677 --0.881
33 J.J. Yeley 36 Chevrolet Accell Construction 181.953 29.678 --0.882
34 David Gilliland 38 Ford Long John Silver's 181.892 29.688 --0.892
35 Timmy Hill 32 Ford U.S. Chrome 181.843 29.696 --0.900
36 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota Burger King-Dr. Pepper 181.830 29.698 --0.902
37 Casey Mears 13 Ford No. 13 GEICO Ford Fusion 181.641 29.729 --0.933
38 Josh Wise 35 Ford MDS Transport 180.614 29.898 --1.102
39 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota Calvert's 180.475 29.921 --1.125
40 Reed Sorenson 95 Ford SupportMilitary.org 179.994 30.001 --1.205
41 Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 179.844 30.026 --1.230
42 Tony Raines 40 Chevrolet Moon Shine Attitude Attire 179.509 30.082 --1.286
43 Landon Cassill 33 Chevrolet Little Joe's Autos.com 178.253 30.294 --1.498

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