Stewart-Haas Racing Sweeps Front Row For Saturday’s Duck Commander 500

Stewart-Haas Racing Sweeps Front Row For Saturday’s Duck Commander 500

by April 10, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway

By: Hunter Thomas
Twitter: @HunterThomas08

FORT WORTH, Tex. – Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick will bring the field to the green for the start of the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kurt Busch earned his second pole in only three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on Friday. Busch’s pole lap was 27.857 seconds at 193.847 mph. Busch has three top-10 starts this season. The pole run marks his 18th of his career; however, this is his first at Texas Motor Speedway. In April of 2013 he qualified second, and prior to Friday night’s Coors Light Pole Qualifying, that effort was his career high at the speedway.

“Everything is so tight in qualifying,” Busch said. “I wanted to run the same time each time out. With the track continuing to change, with the sun and the shade, then the track rubber built up, air pressures are changing and tires are dropping off… everybody chipped in. The guys at the track, the guys at the shop, the tire guy, the engine guy, everyone chipped in. That’s what this is all about – getting that little extra. We did that with our Haas Automation Chevrolet today. Thanks to Gene (Haas). The second pole of the year feels good. Now we need to dial it in and get that long-run speed out of the car.”

Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Kevin Harvick will start alongside of his teammate on Saturday night. Harvick has four top-10 starts this season. In 25 starts at the speedway, Harvick only has five top-10 starts, but with the momentum the No. 4 Budwesier/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet team has this season, look for them to be strong competitors on Saturday night.

“The car feels good,” Harvick said. “Our Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team did a really good job. We stuck to our plan, and that’s what exactly what we had planned to do in practice. Everything worked out good. We made one qualifying run and spent the second half of practice really concentrating on race runs and make sure we can run the long hauls. I feel really good about that. I’m just really proud of everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing, on the 41 team for getting a pole and my team for doing a solid job every week. Look at lineup in the top-12 and you can see the Hendrick engines and chassis that are in that top-12 is really impressive. I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Brad Keselowski will start third on Saturday during the Duck Commander 500. Keselowski has three top-10 starts this season and at the speedway. Keselowski struggled during this particular event last year, when he had to settle for a 15th place finish, but he was strong last November at the speedway when he was involved in the intense finish and post-race scuffle with Jeff Gordon. Keselowski finished third back in November.

“You can always be a little bit better, but the 4 and the 41 have been fast week in and week out and they’re fast here again,” Keselowski said. “The guys did a great job getting us to where we’re at here and being first in class. It never helps to have extra runs on the tires, but we made the most of it.”

The Duck Commander 500 will be live on FOX and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night.

Duck Commander 500 Starting Lineup:
1.) #41 Kurt Busch
2.) #4 Kevin Harvick
3.) #2 Brad Keselowski
4.) #5 Kasey Kahne
5.) #48 Jimmie Johnson
6.) #22 Joey Logano
7.) #31 Ryan Newman
8.) #27 Paul Menard
9.) #42 Kyle Larson
10.) #1 Jamie McMurray
11.) #14 Tony Stewart
12.) #24 Jeff Gordon
13.) #21 Ryan Blaney
14.) #3 Austin Dillon
15.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.
16.) #19 Carl Edwards
17.) #20 Matt Kenseth
18.) #11 Denny Hamlin
19.) #16 Geg Biffle
20.) #13 Casey Mears
21.) #10 Danica Patrick
22.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
23.) #6 Trevor Bayne
24.) #51 Justin Allgaier
25.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
26.) #47 AJ Allmendinger
27.) #15 Clint Bowyer
28.) #46 Michael Annett
29.) #9 Sam Hornish Jr.
30.) #18 David Ragan
31.) #35 Cole Whitt
32.) #43 Aric Almirola
33.) #40 Landon Cassill
34.) #7 Alex Bowman
35.) #98 Josh Wise
36.) #55 Brett Moffitt
37.) #32 Mike Bliss
38.) #38 David Gilliland
39.) #95 Michael McDowell
40.) #34 Chris Buescher
41.) #23 JJ Yeley
42.) #83 Matt DiBenedetto
43.) #33 Alex Kennedy

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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