Kevin Harvick turned in a 26.802-second/183.479 mph lap during the third and final round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Friday to claim the pole for Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at the track. He’ll be joined on the front row by Joey Logano.
“We moved up and picked up in the second one (round),” Harvick said. “Felt like I didn’t roll through there fast enough, and in the last one, felt like I rolled through threre pretty good. It all worked out. Knockout qualifying paid off for us today. We were able to save the best for last.”
Aric Almirola, who will start third after posting the third-fastest lap time in the final round, set a new track qualifying record in round two with a lap time of 26.705 seconds (184.145 mph). In that second round, Logano and Jamie McMurray were second and third fastest.
“The track record lap, I actually felt like I was going faster in the third session than the seciond session, but the record was in the second session,” Almirola said. “It was a great lap for us, and I am proud of everyone at RPM (Richard Petty Motorsports).
In the first round, Paul Menard led the way with a 26.734-second/183.946 mph, folJlowed by Denny Hamlin and McMurray.
Joining Harvick, Logano and Almirola in the final round and starting the race fourth through 12th at Darlington on Saturday are Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, McMurray, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Hamlin, Menard and Martin Truex Jr.