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Kevin Harvick Claims Eighth Pole of the Season at Kansas

Kevin Harvick Claims Eighth Pole of the Season at Kansas

by October 3, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kevin Harvick earned his eighth Coors Light Pole Award of the season at Kansas Speedway on Friday evening, running a lap of 27.325 seconds to earn the honor of starting on the pole for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400.

Harvick, Kansas’ track record holder, smashed his pole-winning lap from May by four tenths with his lap that earned him his third overall and consecutive pole at the mile-and-a-half speedway.

Harvick will lead the field to the green flag for the second straight week in his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet and will do so with Brian Vickers starting alongside of him.

Rounding out the starting grid in the first five rows will be Aric Almirola, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne.

“It’s been just a phenomenal year,” Harvick said. “Obviously we’ve had some bad luck, but these guys continue to focus on the things that they need to focus on and that’s bringing fast cars. They’re staying focused one practice at a time, one lap at a time. They’re grinding away through the tests and the things that you have to do this time of year.

“That bad luck can’t stay with us forever. You keep leading laps and qualifying well – you’re going to win races. I’ve been in this deal before where you seem like everything’s not going your way but usually – you’re running bad too. Like I tell them, the problems we have are a lot better than the problems we don’t have, so we’ll just keep at it.”

Vickers’ run would mark a great improvement from his practice pace. The driver of the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota would run 13th-quickest in practice and would be the fastest Toyota driver in the lone practice session of the day.

“I’m just really proud of the guys on the team, they gave me a really good car,” Vickers said. “We were really happy here in the last race in qualifying as well. We obviously learned a lot from that and made it even a little bit better. Billy [Scott, crew chief] and the guys just did a great job.

“Honestly, the car was incredible – the balance was great. It drove really well and I feel like we got most of it through the corners and I was really proud of the effort.”

The first qualifying round would bring plenty of surprises as three Chase drivers would be eliminated following the 25-minute session – Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, and Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson would go for a spin during his run that would put him into the top-24 and he would be unable to get the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet back out on track in time to take another crack at making the top-24. Following qualifying, Johnson would retreat to his hauler and would refuse to give any comments about his run.

The break between Q1 and Q2 would be extended for a bit due to a scoring issue between Hamlin and Ryan Newman. The two Chase drivers would run identical lap times yet NASCAR would take time to deliberate on who would advance. It would be announced shortly later that Newman would advance by virtue of being higher in the owners’ standings.

Q2 would go off without a hitch and would bounce Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Newman, Clint Bowyer, and Kurt Busch from pole contention.

With 43 drivers entered for the Hollywood Casino 400, no driver will pack up and head home from Kansas.

With qualifying completed, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field will have two practice sessions in store for them tomorrow before the 267-lap race on Sunday afternoon.

Top-10 Qualifiers for the Hollywood Casino 400

  1. 4 – Kevin Harvick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 27.325 | Leader
  2. 55 – Brian Vickers – Toyota – Michael Waltrip Racing – 27.508 | -0.183
  3. 43 – Aric Almirola – Ford – Richard Petty Motorsports – 27.530 | -0.205
  4. 22 – Joey Logano – Ford – Team Penske – 27.544 | -0.219
  5. 24 – Jeff Gordon – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 27.544 | -0.219
  6. 2 – Brad Keselowski – Ford – Team Penske – 27.548 | -0.223
  7. 18 – Kyle Busch – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 27.555 | -0.230
  8. 88 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 27.593 | -0.268
  9. 14 – Tony Stewart – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 27.619 | -0.294
  10. 5 – Kasey Kahne – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 27.641 | -0.316
Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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