With a 35.198-second/204.557 mph lap around Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., during the third and final round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying on Friday, Kevin Harvick claimed the pole starting spot for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400. It’s his third pole of the season. Harvick’s qualifying speed at MIS on Friday was the fastest pole-winning speed since bill Elliott claimed the pole at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 1987 with a speed of 212.809 mph.
Harvick will be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon. Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., qualified third to give Chevrolet the top-three spots on the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
Aric Almirola qualified fourth to share the second row with Earnhardt. Paul Menard rounded out the top-five in qualifying to give Chevrolet four of the top-five starting spots.
Kevin Harvick was tops all the way through the three-round qualifying session, posting the fastest lap time in each round. In the first round, he posted a fast lap of 35.295 seconds/203.995 mph. In the second round, his fast lap of record was 35.470 seconds/202.988 mph.
“I think that is just a credit on our Budweiser and Stewart-Haas race team for putting fast race cars on the track,” Harvick said. “When you put it together with the Hendrick Motorsports engine package it creates a lot of speed and it makes coming to these place a lot of fun. Really excited to start on the pole and get that first pit box and hopefully we can put the whole day together on Sunday.”
The other seven drivers advancing to the final round to claim starting spots sixth through 12th include (in the order in which they qualified, sixth through 12th): Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson.
Forty-four drivers made qualifying attempts for the 43 available spots on the starting grid. The one driver failing to make the race was Ryan Truex.