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Qualifying Report: Harvick Leads The Field At Kansas



It has been six years since Kevin Harvick started on the pole, and with his lap of 28.796 seconds put down on Friday, he will do so Sunday. Back in 2006 it was New Hampshire, now he can add the Kansas Speedway to his pole winning list.

“When you win that few of poles you can remember the things that happen on those particular days.  It’s been a good day for us.  We had an okay day yesterday.  I think everybody is fighting a lot of the same issues with the cars to figure out the tire and what you want in them.  We unloaded this morning and the car was really fast right off the truck and comfortable to drive.  Went through a couple good runs, a couple bad runs and just kind of went back to where we started and had a good qualifying lap,” Harvick commented after receiving the Coors Light Pole Award.

He’s made a career out of racing better than he can qualifying, which in the grand scheme of things is usually preferred.

“Just throughout my career for whatever reason we just hadn’t qualified well and we always definitely seem to race a lot better than we qualify.  That’s a good question.  I think today we had speed right off the bat and I think when you have the confidence in the car to go ahead and push it, it’s always hard to understand how to make it go two or three tenths faster whether it’s just the speed in the race track or how much harder you need to drive the car.  There’s a lot of things that you have to run through.  We’ve always had better race cars than fast speedy cars,” Harvick continued.

Joining him on the front row will be rookie Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. who fell just short of getting his second career pole, with a lap of 28.803 seconds.

“So far so good for our EcoBoost Fusion here. I knew if those guys going out early, if I could be somewhere around that group of guys that we would have a decent day for qualifying. Scott and the guys made great changes and it isn’t near as fast as when we qualified here earlier this year. It was definitely on edge and I had a lot of fun doing that. I am proud of the guys for the adjustments that they made. I am not sure it that will hold up or stack up but beating those guys that already went out feels pretty decent,” said Stenhouse after his lap.

Third place on the track and in the points is Jimmie Johnson. He overcame issues during the first practice to put his Chevrolet in the second row.

“I just spun out trying real hard on that first sticker run and we got things back under control and the balance in the car. It’s really fast. I’m happy about that.  And then as I was coming in, I saw some smoke in the mirror and I could smell it and it looks like we have an issue with the radiator or something up front. There’s nothing wrong with the engine. It’s certainly a quick scare when you see that blue smoke and the smell that it has. I was pretty nervous,” Johnson explained on the early incident.

On his lap, he felt like some was left on the table. “That was really good and to pick-up that much with a hotter track and more rubber on it, I feel pretty good about that. You always think that you left a little out there.”

Rounding out the top-5 qualifiers were the Penske Racing teammates, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.

“Obviously there is a little more out there because Jimmie and Ricky were both faster. It was a decent lap though and should get us a solid starting spot. We will take it and move on,” said Keselowski after his lap.

“Our qualifying lap wasn’t too bad. We will have to wait and see where it ends up but it is good pickup from where we were. We got four-tenths there but I was shooting for six or seven. The car didn’t drive too bad but those guys up front right now ran really fast laps. It is pretty remarkable actually because my car didn’t drive terrible. I can see maybe a tenth that I left out there so those guys ran really good laps. Hopefully it stays top-10 because qualifying here is really important and we need to get this Shell Pennzoil Ford starting up front as close as we can and it would make our day a lot easier on Sunday,” commented Logano after his lap.

Championship leader Matt Kenseth qualified seventh and second place Kyle Busch was 18th. Other Chase drivers deep in the field included Ryan Newman (17th), Kurt Busch (19th), Clint Bowyer (22nd), and Greg Biffle (26th).

With only 43 entries for this weekend, no drivers missed the race.

The Hollywood Casino 400 gets under way Sunday at 2 PM EST, and can be seen on ESPN.

Pos # Driver Team Time
1 29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 28.796
2 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford EcoBoost Ford 28.803
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet 28.852
4 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 28.996
5 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 29.006
6 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Time Warner Cable Chevrolet 29.021
7 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 29.049
8 27 Paul Menard Menards / Splash Chevrolet 29.052
9 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 29.084
10 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 29.121
11 55 Brian Vickers Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota 29.123
12 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 29.148
13 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 29.157
14 24 Jeff Gordon Axalta Chevrolet 29.167
15 5 Kasey Kahne Time Warner Cable Chevrolet 29.192
16 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet 29.201
17 39 Ryan Newman Code 3 Associates Chevrolet 29.248
18 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Toyota 29.252
19 78 Kurt Busch Furniture Row / Denver Mattress Chevrolet 29.272
20 43 Aric Almirola Farmland Ford 29.287
21 51 Justin Allgaier Brandt Chevrolet 29.331
22 15 Clint Bowyer Raspberry5hrEnergybeneLivingBynd Toyota 29.391
23 14 Mark Martin Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet 29.401
24 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 29.447
25 9 Marcos Ambrose MAC Tools Ford 29.497
26 16 Greg Biffle Sherwin Williams Ford 29.540
27 83 David Reutimann Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota 29.559
28 47 AJ Allmendinger Scott Products – Win My Car Toyota 29.584
29 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 29.664
30 30 Cole Whitt Swan Energy Toyota 29.667
31 98 Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford 29.675
32 34 David Ragan Taco Bell Ford 29.677
33 36 JJ Yeley Accell Construction Chevrolet 29.678
34 38 David Gilliland Long John Silver’s Ford 29.688
35 32 Timmy Hill U.S. Chrome Ford 29.696
36 93 Travis Kvapil Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota 29.698
37 13 Casey Mears GEICO Ford Owner Points
38 35 Josh Wise MDS Transport Ford Owner Points
39 87 Joe Nemechek Calvert’s Toyota Owner Points
40 95 Reed Sorenson Ford Owner Points
41 7 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet Owner Points
42 40 Tony Raines Moonshine Attitude Attire Chevrolet Owner Points
43 33 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Owner Points