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NASCAR Cup: Kevin Harvick claims pole at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, KS – MAY 11: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light Ford, poses with the Busch Pole Award after qualifying on the pole position for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 11, 2018 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)


With a 28.600-second/188.811 mph lap in the third of three rounds of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Kansas Speedway near Kansas City on Friday evening, Kevin Harvick claimed the pole for Sunday’s KC Masterpiece 400. It’s his second pole of the 2018 season and the fourth of his career at Kansas Speedway.

“This has been a really good race track for us through the years, and I think obviously, when you look at qualifying day, it’s also been just one of those places that kind of fits what we do,” Harvick said. “So it’s been an entertaining day. We’ve had a lot of things of things to work through today, but I think today is one of those days when you look at the team and you’re like, ‘Man, those guys are really good at what they do.’ Nobody panics and really shows the experience and just patience that all those guys have that they’ve gained and learned, and I think you look at the experience of the team, and it seems to keep getting better, so that’s fun to be a part of.”

Ryan Blaney qualified second for an all-Ford front row.

Kyle Busch qualified third, the only non-Ford driver in the top-five. Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola qualified fourth, and Brad Keselowski qualified fifth.

Chris Buescher was the highest-qualifying Chevrolet driver in 10th. Buescher’s No. 37 JTG-Daugherty Racing Chevrolet was the only Chevrolet to advance to the final round of qualifying, the round of 12th.

“I’m proud of the effort,” Buescher said. “Our Breyers 2 N 1 Camaro ZL1 was good all three runs. We didn’t lose a bunch of speed throughout the whole thing, and I’m proud of that. It’s the second best start I’ve ever had in the Cup Series; that is pretty awesome as well. It’s a good day. It’s a good start.”

Harvick and Blaney were the fastest two in all three rounds of qualifying, with Blaney’s 28.565-second/189.043 mph lap in the opening round topping that round and Harvick posting the fastest lap, overall, of the three round session in the second round — a 28.556-second/189.102 mph lap.

Six cars, including the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford driven by Matt Kenseth in his Cup Series return, failed to make a qualifying attempt because of issues in pre-qualifying inspection. Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray, nearly missed qualifying, driving from the inspection station to the track in the closing seconds of the first round.

After making a late attempt in round one of qualifying and advancing to round two, neither Johnson nor McMurray posted lap times in the second round. Johnson didn’t attempt to return to the track after being only 21st fastest in the opening round. McMurray tried to get back on track but was unable to get his car started in the second round.

“The guys did a really good job to get out,” McMurray said. “We literally, just like they said, you have like eight seconds or something to get out, so that was good that we were able to get through tech and get out and make a lap. We intended on running again, but for some reason, the engine wouldn’t start. The starter would only spin it over for, like, one revolution, and then, the starter would disengage. We really tried hard to get it to start and just couldn’t ever get it to fire again.”

Kyle Larson also didn’t post an official time in the second round. He was on-track in the round, but a spin resulted in flat-spotted tires. Needing a tire change that would require him to start the race in the back, anyway, Larson didn’t make another attempt to post a second-round lap.

“I was pretty tight that run, and I just got tight getting into the top there and got up in the marbles and got loose,” Larson said. “I’m just thankful I didn’t get too much damage on our First Data Chevy. I haven’t looked at it, but it appears really minor. Wish I wouldn’t have done that, because I feel like we had a shot at the pole.”

Below, is the complete starting grid for Sunday’s KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway:
Row 1 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Ford), Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Ford)
Row 2 — Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), Aric Almirola (No. 10 Ford)
Row 3 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 4 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Kurt Busch (No. 41 Ford)
Row 5 — Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford), Chris Buescher (No. 37 Chevrolet)
Row 6 — Paul Menard (No. 21 Ford), Erik Jones (No. 20 Toyota)
Row 7 — William Byron (No. 24 Chevrolet), Daniel Suarez (No. 19 Toyota)
Row 8 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford)
Row 9 — Chase Elliott (No. 9 Chevrolet), A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet)
Row 10 — Alex Bowman (No. 88 Chevrolet), David Ragan (No. 38 Ford)
Row 11 — Darrell Wallace Jr. (No. 43 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Ty Dillon (No. 13 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — Corey LaJoie (No. 72 Chevrolet), Ross Chastain (No. 15 Chevrolet)
Row 15 — Gray Gaulding (No. 23 Toyota), Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Landon Cassill (No. 00 Chevrolet), B.J. McLeod (No. 51 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Ford), Kasey Kahne (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 18 — Matt Kenseth (No. 6 Ford), Michael McDowell (No. 34 Ford)
Row 19 — Matt DiBenedetto (No. 32 Ford), Timmy Hill (No. 66 Toyota)

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Posted by on May 12, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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