TALLADEGA, Ala. — A part failure by his teammate almost ruined the day for Kevin Harvick. But when he went back out, he topped the chart. When he pulled his car into victory lane to celebrate winning the Busch Pole Award, he was hugging crew chief Rodney Childers like he’d just won the race.
“It’s just a huge credit to the team and Roush-Yates Engines, and everybody who works on all the super-speedway stuff to make it what it is. Made some huge improvements.”
Harvick earned his 22nd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole with a final round lap of 49.247 seconds and 194.448 mph.
His first run cut short when he ran over debris left by teammate Aric Almirola, who’d spun out after a piece of the left-rear end broke in Turn 1. Further inspection revealed the debris punctured his left-rear tire.
But NASCAR gave him a new left-rear tire (which is allowed, at their discretion) and he turned the fastest lap in the first round, at 49.291 and 194.275 mph.
Kurt Busch will start second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott in the Top-five.
“I have never been on the pole for a plate race,” Busch said, “and I wanted to check that off the list. Thank you, Doug Yates. We wouldn’t be in this position if we didn’t have great horsepower. That is the fun part of our qualifying, showcasing the talent of the engine builder and the way these guys build the aero package. To have two Stewart-Haas cars on the front row is great. We would have loved to gotten the pole but outside pole is great and I am proud of our Monster Energy Ford.”
Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski round out the Top-10 starters.
Alex Bowman and David Ragan round out the 12 drivers that made the final round.
Forty cars will start tomorrow’s race.
Nobody failed to make the event.C1810_STARTROW