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NASCAR: Kevin Harvick Wins Indy Pole in Record TimeSalem-News.com Sports
Jeff Gordon will share the front. Brad Keselowski, followed by 2013 Brickyard winner Ryan Newman, and Brian Vickers complete the top five.
(INDIANAPOLIS) - Suddenly the ace qualifier at Stewart-Haas Racing this year, Kevin Harvick dominated Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series time trials at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, winning the pole for Sunday's Crown Royal 400 in track-record speed.
Fastest in all three rounds of knockout qualifying, Harvick earned his fourth Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his second at the Brickyard and the 10th of his career.
Harvick established his credentials early in the first 25-minute session, covering the 2.5-mile distance in 47.647 seconds (188.889 mph), shattering the previous record speed of 187.531 mph set by Ryan Newman last year.
The record speed of his first lap surprised the driver of the No. 4 SHR Chevrolet.
"After the first lap, I was probably more nervous than I have been in a while for qualifying," Harvick said. "I wasn't really expecting to have the car run that fast. From there they are all looking at you, ‘All right, if you screw this up, it's on you, buddy.'"
In the second round, Harvick remained the only driver to top 188 mph, posting a lap at 188.281 mph to pace the 10-minute session. No other driver could reach even 187 mph in Round 2.
In the final five-minute round, Harvick ran 188.470 mph to win the pole convincingly over Jeff Gordon, who will share the front row after a lap at 187.770 mph. Brad Keselowski (186.893 mph) qualified third, followed by 2013 Brickyard winner Ryan Newman (186.765 mph) and Brian Vickers (186.455 mph).
The last time Harvick won the pole at Indy, in 2003, he won the race, and he acknowledged the advantages of starting up front.
"You can overcome a lot of things with your track position here," Harvick said. "To have the first pit stall, to have clean air to start the race—usually your problems will be a lot less than they are in traffic when you're out front. Hopefully, we can put together a whole day.
Nor is the history of the Brickyard lost on Harvick.
"There's Daytona, and then there's nothing quite like this place that we come to," he said. "It's a unique race track with a lot of things that have to come together, a lot of history, and I'm excited to be here."
Keselowski certainly took notice of Harvick's lap times and gave them their due.
"It's always scary when Kevin's fast in qualifying," Keselowski said.
Brickyard 400 Starting Lineup:
Position Driver Make Speed
1. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 188.470 2. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 187.770 3. Brad Keselowski Ford 186.893 4. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 186.765 5. Brian Vickers Toyota 186.455 6. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 186.193 7. Kurt Busch Chevrolet 185.943 8. Juan Pablo Montoya Ford 185.924 9. Joey Logano Ford 185.828 10. Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 185.705 11. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 185.468 12. Kyle Busch Toyota 184.991 13. Matt Kenseth Toyota 185.468 14. Danica Patrick Chevrolet 185.391 15. Kyle Larson Chevrolet 185.254 16. Clint Bowyer Toyota 185.128 17. Austin Dillon Chevrolet 185.048 18. Carl Edwards Ford 184.991 19. Greg Biffle Ford 184.900 20. Trevor Bayne Ford 184.869 21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 184.740 22. Marcos Ambrose Ford 184.426 23. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 183.887 24. Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 183.610 25. Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet 184.449 26. Casey Mears Chevrolet 183.726 27. Denny Hamlin Toyota 183.692 28. Michael McDowell Ford 183.565 29. Paul Menard Chevrolet 183.539 30. Josh Wise Chevrolet 182.867 31. Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 182.656 32. Ryan Truex Toyota 182.574 33. Michael Annett Chevrolet 182.245 34. David Gilliland Ford 182.072 35. Alex Bowman Toyota 181.866 36. A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 181.815 37. Landon Cassill Chevrolet 181.778 38. David Ragan Ford 181.609 39. Cole Whitt Toyota 181.528 40. Travis Kvapil Ford 181.474 41. Brett Moffitt Toyota 181.335 42. Aric Almirola Ford 180.665 43. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 180.534
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