NASCAR Cup: Kevin Harvick on pole at Charlotte
Kevin Harvick honored as the pole sitter of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
Kevin Harvick claimed the pole for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, the first race of the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, with a 27.547-second/196.029 mph lap in the third and final round of qualifying at the track on Thursday evening.
“I just got to the green a little bit better,” Harvick said. “The car was too loose the time before, and I got to the green better. It was good in (turns) one and two, but I felt like I gave up a little something in (turns) three and four coming to the checkers.”
After Jeff Gordon served as substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet last weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Alex Bowman returned to the driver’s seat for Charlotte and claimed the front-row starting spot alongside Harvick.
“Honestly, we didn’t put the greatest lap together,” Bowman said. “In (turns) one and two, we were a little free in and didn’t really keep it on the bottom like I needed to. Turns three and four were really good. It means so much for Hendrick Motorsports to take a chance on me for these races. I’m really thankful to be here. I hate that we didn’t get the pole. We were so close. It’s definitely my best starting spot by a bunch, but you’d always like that pole.”
Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five in qualifying.
All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers survived to the final round of qualifying to claim top-12 starting spots. Joining Bowman and Elliott in round three were HMS teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne, who qualified 11th and 12th.
Below, is the complete starting grid for Saturday night’s Bank of America 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
Row 1 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet), Alex Bowman (No. 88 Chevrolet)
Row 2 — Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota)
Row 3 — Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet), A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet)
Row 4 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Carl Edwards (No. 19 Toyota)
Row 5 — Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 6 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet), Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford)
Row 8 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford), Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet)
Row 9 — Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 10 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford)
Row 11 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet), Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet), Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota)
Row 13 — Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet), Chris Buescher (No. 34 Ford)
Row 14 — Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 15 — Casey Mears (No. 13 Chevrolet), Brian Scott (No. 44 Ford)
Row 16 — Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Chevrolet), Landon Cassill (No. 38 Ford)
Row 17 — Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford), David Ragan (No. 23 Toyota)
Row 18 — Regan Smith (No. 7 Chevrolet), Cole Whitt (No. 98 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet), Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 32 Ford)
Row 20 — Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Chevrolet), Josh Wise (No. 30 Chevrolet)