Harvick Smashes Michigan Record to Claim Pole

by June 14, 2014

Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images

BROOKLYN, Mich. — For the first time in his career, Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) is a three-time pole winner a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Harvick claimed the pole for this Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at the Michigan International Speedway with a lap time of 35.198 seconds, obliterating the previous track record. Harvick had the car to beat throughout all three qualifying rounds as his No. 4 Budweiser SS would pace all three rounds. The 2010 Michigan August race winner initially beat the old MIS track qualifying record in the first round with a lap of 35.295 seconds but would lose two-tenths in the second round, running a lap of 35.470 seconds. Harvick would rebound in the final round of qualifying to beat second-place Jeff Gordon’s (Hendrick Motorsports) time by over a tenth of a second.

Gordon’s second-place qualifying effort gives the four-time series champion his first front-row starting position since last October’s Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., qualified in third with a time just off of his teammate’s. Gordon ran a lap of 35.333 seconds while Earnhardt ran a lap of 35.341 seconds.

The Ford Fusions fared much better in qualifying than they did in practice. Aric Almirola (Richard Petty Motorsports) would crack the top-five in his No. 43 Smithfield Fusion, running a lap of 35.433 seconds. Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano had themselves another great qualifying session with Keselowski qualifying sixth and Logano qualifying ninth.

A Toyota would finally break into the top-10 during the day with Brian Vickers (Michael Waltrip) qualifying his No. 55 Aaron’s Camry in the 10th position.

Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske) will officially make his first Sprint Cup Series start since last year on Sunday after his 28th-place qualifying effort. Brett Moffitt (Identity Ventures Racing) will make his second career start in the No. 66 Camry after qualifying in 34th.

One car was sent home packing from Michigan after 44 cars entered for the event. Ryan Truex and his BK Racing crew will take their No. 83 entry back to the shop to prepare for next week’s race at Sonoma. This is the No. 83 team’s third DNQ of the year.

Top-10 Qualifiers for the Quicken Loans 400

  1. 4 – Kevin Harvick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 35.198 seconds | Leader
  2. 24 – Jeff Gordon – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 35.333 seconds | -0.135
  3. 88 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 35.341 seconds | -0.143
  4. 43 – Aric Almirola – Ford – Richard Petty Motorsports – 35.433 seconds | -0.235
  5. 27 – Paul Menard – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 35.461 seconds | -0.263
  6. 2 – Brad Keselowski – Ford – Team Penske – 35.484 seconds | -0.286
  7. 48 – Jimmie Johnson – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 35.573 seconds | -0.375
  8. 41 – Kurt Busch – Chevrolet – Stewart Haas Racing – 35.636 seconds | -0.438
  9. 22 – Joey Logano – Ford – Team Penske – 35.638 seconds | -0.440
  10. 55 – Brian Vickers – Toyota – Michael Waltrip Racing – 35.762 seconds | -0.564