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Harvick Bests Team Penske to Win Kansas Pole

Harvick Bests Team Penske to Win Kansas Pole

by May 9, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/NASCAR via Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — For the second straight race at the Kansas Speedway, Kevin Harvick will lead the field to the green flag.

Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) took his second pole of the season and the eighth pole position of his career in qualifying for the 5-Hour Energy 400, beating Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski on the speedchart to earn his first pole since Darlington.

The driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet broke the track record set last year with a lap of 27.741 seconds that he ran in the second qualifying session. Harvick was unable to best that lap in the final qualifying session as he would run a lap of 27.799 seconds.

Stewart-Haas Racing were the dominant team throughout all of qualifying as a SHR car was the quickest car in each of Friday’s three qualifying rounds. All four Stewart-Haas cars were able to qualify in the top-10 for Saturday night’s race.

Kurt Busch, Harvick’s teammate, ran the quickest time in the opening round of qualifying with a lap of 27.891 seconds. 20 drivers were eliminated from pole contention at the conclusion of the opening 25-minute session; drivers such as Marcos Ambrose (Richard Petty Motorsports), Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing), and Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin were eliminated after the first round.

Dave Blaney (Randy Humphrey Racing) will be the only car to not race in the 5-Hour Energy 400, a sure disappointment after a strong first practice session for the No. 77 team. Blaney will be unable to race with his son, Ryan (Team Penske), who will be making his very first start in the Sprint Cup Series tomorrow night from the 21st starting position.

The second round of qualifying yielded some surprises in terms of pace. Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) joined his JGR teammates outside of the top-20 by coming dead last in the second round of qualifying, qualifying 24th. Hometown hero Clint Bowyer (Michael Waltrip Racing) will start in Row 12 alongside of Busch in the 23rd position.

All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers were unable to advance to the final round of qualifying. Jeff Gordon (13th) and Jimmie Johnson (14th) will share Row 7 on the grid, Kasey Kahne will start from 17th-place, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start from outside of the top-20 in 22nd.

The final round of qualifying initially looked to be a Ford-dominated round as Roush-Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle placed themselves in the top-four along with the Penske duo of Logano and Keselowski. Before the Fusion drivers were able to do any celebrating, Harvick swooped in to grab the top spot in the session ahead of Logano by almost half-of-a-tenth of a second. Rookie Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing) was able to earn himself his second top-five starting spot of the year by qualifying fifth – Larson was the highest qualifying rookie of the race.

History has shown that you can win at Kansas from just about any starting spot at the track, however, both of last year’s Kansas races were won from the pole position. Harvick must be pleased with his qualifying result this year as he was the last winner at this track in the fall, leading 138 laps from the pole.

Coverage for the 5-Hour Energy 400 will begin tomorrow at 7:00p.m ET with television coverage on FOX. MRN Radio will also be broadcasting radio coverage. If you’re looking to attend tomorrow night’s race, you may purchase tickets at www.kansasspeedway.com.

Top-10 Qualifiers for the 5-Hour Energy 400

  1. 4 – Kevin Harvick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 27.799 seconds | Leader
  2. 22 – Joey Logano – Ford – Team Penske – 27.848 seconds | -0.049
  3. 2 – Brad Keselowski – Ford – Team Penske – 27.906 seconds | -0.107
  4. 99 – Carl Edwards – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing – 27.952 seconds | -0.153
  5. 42 – Kyle Larson# – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing – 27.972 seconds | -0.173
  6. 41 – Kurt Busch – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 27.973 seconds | -0.174
  7. 31 – Ryan Newman – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 28.006 seconds | -0.207
  8. 14 – Tony Stewart – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 28.045 seconds | -0.246
  9. 10 – Danica Patrick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 28.059 seconds | -0.260
  10. 16 – Greg Biffle – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing – 28.128 seconds | -0.329

# = Rookie.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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