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NASCAR Cup: Kevin Harvick takes pole in qualifying draft at Vegas

during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

By AMANDA VINCENT

With a 29.914-second/180.517 mph lap in the third and final round of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, Kevin Harvick won the pole for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400, the third race of the 2019 Cup Series season and the first will all components of the new 2019 aerodynamic rules package.

Harvick will be joined on the front row by Denny Hamlin. Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch qualified third and will share the second row with Austin Dillon.

“The fastest car in qualifying trim is fourth (Dillon),” Harvick said. “I told them before we qualified today that the fastest car would not get the pole today. In the final round it was going to come down to where you were at. It’s definitely different. It’s one of those situations where you don’t really know where you need to be. I had never drafted, really, in these cars.”

With the addition of aero ducts to the rules package for LVMS, Friday’s qualifying session included drafting. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott actually posted the two fastest laps of the third round on second and final attempt at timed laps but ran out of time for those laps to count. Instead, they wound up the final two in the round and 11th and 12th on the starting grid.

After Richard Childress Racing teammates Dillon and Daniel Hemric turned in the fastest laps in the day’s lone practice session, Dillon also was fastest in the opening round of qualifying with a 30.006-second/179.964 mph lap. Both RCR drivers advanced to the third round of qualifying, and Hemric wound up fifth.

“I figured we had the fastest car,” Dillon said. “I hate that we couldn’t stick to our plan that we had beforehand. We knew we had the fastest cars, and we gave up a pole because of it. We just didn’t work together as a team as good as we needed to. I hate that, but we will hopefully learn from it, because I’m really proud of these guys. It sucks when you have the two fastest cars and you qualifying fourth and fifth with them. We had the pole; we thought that whoever was the fastest in the second round was going to run second, and we were just going to go. I didn’t think anybody had anything for us, but plans changed right before the end.”

Harvick was fastest in the second round of qualifying with a 29.814-second/181.123 mph lap, the fastest lap, overall, of the three-round qualifying session.

Below, is the complete starting grid for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400:

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Posted by on March 2, 2019. 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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