CUP: Harvick Banks Third Pole Of Season In Coke 600 Qualifying

James Pike Cup, Featured Leave a Comment

Kevin Harvick celebrates after topping qualifying on Liftmaster Pole Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (NASCAR photo)

CONCORD, N.C. — Kevin Harvick was the fastest driver of all on LiftMaster Pole Night and will start from the front of the field for Sunday evening’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM).

In posting a final round time of 27.918 seconds (193.424 mph), Harvick won his 20th career Coors Light Pole Award, third of the season and second in a row at Charlotte.

Harvick’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Patriotic Ford for Stewart Haas Racing was the only vehicle in the final round to crack the 27-second bracket and exceed the 193 mile per hour threshold.

“I felt like I got through (Turns) 1 and 2 pretty good,” Harvick said. “That’s where I’ve been struggling and I knew I didn’t need to overdrive that particular corner. Thankfully, I didn’t overdrive the entry and I got back to the gas and was in the gas when the thing started to slide a little bit.”

“It was definitely breathtaking; I guess you can say all three laps (were), because it was so edgy to drive … but all in all, I guess they say loose is fast. Just really proud of my guys and that’s a good start to a long night.”

Behind Harvick, the majority of the top 10 belonged to Toyota.

Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race winner Kyle Busch was second-fastest on the charts, securing the outside of the front row with a time of 28.050 seconds (192.513 mph) in the final round.

Busch will look to parlay his strong start to the weekend into his first-ever points-paying win at Charlotte on Sunday night.

“Our M&M’s Red-White-and-Blue Camry’s got some speed and it showed up when we unloaded it right off the truck. We were pretty quick the first couple sessions … and then guys caught up to us a little bit through the practice. Overall, I just can’t say enough about the guys all at Joe Gibbs Racing. This shows that we’ve got performance right now so we just have to put it all together. It’s a long, long day (on Sunday).”

While Chase Elliott qualified third (28.087/192.260) in a Chevrolet, fourth through sixth were all held down by Camry drivers, with Matt Kenseth, Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin timing in lock-step formation.

Ryan Blaney’s Ford was seventh, just ahead of Martin Truex, Jr., who was eighth fastest in the second Furniture Row Racing Toyota.

Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch completed the dozen cars that advanced through all three knockout rounds.

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