Kevin Harvick turned in a lap time of 27.799 seconds (194.252 mph) in the third of three rounds of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Kansas Speedway near Kansas City, Kan., on Friday to claim the pole for Saturday night’s 5-hour Energy 400. It marks his second Kansas pole. He won the pole and then went on to win the race at the track’s fall event last year.
“Usually, when Friday goes well, it’s a good sign for the rest of the weekend,” Harvick said. “We had a good test, as we came here a few weeks ago and felt confident we could go back and tell everybody that we felt really confident in the things that we had in our car. I think that showed up good in qualifying as an organization today.”
Joey Logano will join Harvick on the front row on Saturday night after posting the second-fastest lap time in the final round of qualifying. Brad Keselowski qualified third and will share the second row with Carl Edwards. Kyle Larson qualified fifth, laying claim to the honor of fastest rookie.
“We have another good AAA Fusion this weekend,” Logano said. “We made the right adjustments, and I feel like my car, through one and two on the third session, was really good.”
Harvick was also the fastest in the second round of qualifying. His 27.741-second/194.658 mph lap in that round was fast enough to set a new Kansas Speedway track qualifying record. Tony Stewart and Logano rounded out the top-three in the second round. The fastest round one lap was turned in by Kurt Busch at a time of 27.891 seconds (193.611 mph).
“Our car was good when we unloaded it off the truck,” Harvick said. “Had to make small adjustments here and there to the different tire that they brought, but the guys are just doing a great job. I’m just the lucky participant that gets to ride in the car and reap the benefits from a good group of guys in an organization that is doing good work. It’s sa lot of fun right now.”
Qualifying sixth through 12th in the final round and, therefore, the race were Busch, Ryan Newman, Stewart, Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray and Aric Almirola.
With 44 drivers making qualifying attempts for the 43 available spots on the starting grid, the one driver failing to make the race was Dave Blaney. As Blaney was left on the outside looking in, his son, Ryan Blaney, qualified 21st for his Sprint Cup Series debut.
“It feels good to make it,” Blaney said. “It is sa shame my dad couldn’t make it.”
– Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images