Qualifying cancellation puts Kevin Harvick on pole at Kentucky
Kevin Harvick in the garage at Kentucky Speedway on July 8, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR modified its Friday on-track schedule at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta because of a severe thunderstorm warning and heavy rain. With practice time favored over qualifying on the new track surface at Kentucky, Sprint Cup Series qualifying was cancelled and the starting grid for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 was set by car owner points. NASCAR changed a rule before last weekend’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, now calling for starting grids to be set by car owner points when qualifying is cancelled.
As a result, championship points leader, Kevin Harvick will start on the pole, while Brad Keselowski starts alongside on the front row.
“Well, I think this weekend is a little bit of an unknown,” Harvick said. “We spent two days here testing and, obviously, we had to make some adjustments. Goodyear had to make some adjustments to the tires coming back to make them live. I think as we have gone through practice, we haven’t had any tire issues, so far. But it changed a lot with the feel of the car, and the things that you want in the car. We’ve scrambled a little bit. I felt like we were better the second time out on the race track.”
Their teammates will start behind them on row two, with Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, in third and Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate, Joey Logano, in fourth.
Only 40 cars, the exact number needed for a full race field entered the race, so no driver was shut out of the race without being able to make a qualifying attempt.
Here’s a look at the complete starting grid for the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway:
Row 1 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet), Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford)
Row 2 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 3 — Carl Edwards (No. 19 Ford), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota)
Row 4 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 5 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 6 — Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota), Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet)
Row 8 — Ryan Blaney (No. 31 Chevrolet), Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet)
Row 9 — Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford), Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet)
Row 10 — A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 11 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford), Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Chevrolet), Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford)
Row 14 — Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet), Casey Mears (No. 13 Chevrolet)
Row 15 — Landon Cassill (No. 38 Ford), Ty Dillon (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — David Ragan (No. 23 Toyota), Brian Scott (No. 44 Ford)
Row 17 — Regan Smith (No. 7 Chevrolet), Chris Buescher (No. 34 Ford)
Row 18 — Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota), Cole Whitt (No. 98 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet), Jeffrey Eearnhardt (No. 32 Ford)
Row 20 — Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Chevrolet), Josh Wise (No. 30 Chevrolet)