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Harvick Captures Sixth Pole At Atlanta


The idea that Kevin Harvick’s car is adorn with the slogan “Freaky Fast” is not ironic, it is fact. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver posted a lap of 29.118 seconds on Friday to win the pole for Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 from the Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is the sixth pole of 2014 for Harvick and the 12th of his Sprint Cup Series career. Joining Harvick on the front row will be Brad Keselowski, who came up just shy with a lap of 29.170 seconds.

“I just messed the first round up really bad trying to do something that I wasn’t doing in practice. Luckily we were fast enough to be able to get through the first round into the second round,” explained Harvick. “The second round we got into a little better rhythm where I wanted to run on the race track. I’ve got to thank everybody on our Jimmy John’s team they make my life a lot easier on Friday’s and this is a lot of fun.”

For Keselowski it was yet another front row start. He and his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano seem to be up front every week with this year’s inaugural knockout qualifying format. It is the 20th time he has stated in the top-10 this season.

“It’s by far the best qualifying effort I’ve ever had here. That’s a testament to the team and the work they’ve done and trying to be better. We’re having a phenomenal season, but I just wish it would have been one more spot instead of second to first-place, but that’s the way it goes and hopefully we can find that one more spot here Sunday night,” commented Keselowski.

Rounding out the top-10 starters are Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex, Jr., Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, and Kasey Kahne. One driver failed to make the race, Michael McDowell, while another is making his Sprint Cup Series debut, Ty Dillon.

“I think I learned that these Cup cars are fast. They are a lot of fun. It’s tough to come in for your first time three-quarters of the way through the season and expect a good qualifying effort. It was a great job by my Realtree guys. It was a lot of fun going out there and qualifying with the big guys for the first time,” said Dillon after his lap. He will roll off 29th for his first race.

Starting 12th will be Tony Stewart, who will be making his first start in three races after sitting out in the wake of a tragic accident during a sprint car race in Canandaigua, NY. NASCAR has allowed an exemption for Stewart, so should he win this weekend or next, he could be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The Oral-B USA 500 gets underway at 7:30 PM EST and fans can catch the action on ESPN Sunday night.

Pos # Driver Team Time
1 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Chevrolet 29.118
2 2 Brad Keselowski Alliance Truck Parts Ford 29.170
3 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 29.197
4 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 29.272
5 20 Matt Kenseth Home Depot Husky Toyota 29.334
6 78 Martin Truex Jr. World Vision Chevrolet 29.346
7 43 Aric Almirola Eckrich Ford 29.391
8 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Toyota 29.409
9 24 Jeff Gordon Panasonic Chevrolet 29.419
10 5 Kasey Kahne Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet 29.440
11 99 Carl Edwards Subway Ford 29.480
12 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 29.504
13 3 Austin Dillon Dow Chevrolet 29.308
14 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 29.318
15 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 29.358
16 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet 29.363
17 11 Denny Hamlin Sport Clips Toyota 29.389
18 16 Greg Biffle Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford 29.410
19 55 Brian Vickers Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota 29.422
20 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Chevrolet 29.509
21 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 29.536
22 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 29.590
23 47 AJ Allmendinger Hungry Jack Chevrolet 29.604
24 13 Casey Mears Geico Chevrolet 29.655
25 7 Michael Annett St. Jude Children’s Rsrch Hsptl/Pilot Chev 29.489
26 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fifth Third Bank Ford 29.505
27 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 29.529
28 37 Mike Bliss Accell Construction Inc. Chevrolet 29.571
29 33 Ty Dillon Realtree Chevrolet 29.595
30 23 Alex Bowman Dr Pepper Toyota 29.597
31 51 Justin Allgaier Auto-Owners Insurance Chevrolet 29.665
32 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 29.704
33 27 Paul Menard Duracell/Menards Chevrolet 29.808
34 77 Joe Nemechek Fochler Veterans Law Ford 29.816
35 66 Brett Moffitt Royal Teak Collection Toyota 29.833
36 98 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Chevrolet 29.844
37 38 David Gilliland Love’s Ford Owner Points
38 34 David Ragan Farm Rich Ford Owner Points
39 83 Ryan Truex Burger King Toyota Owner Points
40 26 Cole Whitt Rinnai Toyota Owner Points
41 32 JJ Yeley Southern Pride Trucking Inc. Ford Owner Points
42 40 Landon Cassill Newtown Building Supplies Chevrolet Owner Points
43 36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Owner Points
DNQ: #95 Michael McDowell