|Kevin Harvick wins his second Busch Pole Award of the season|
|Sarah Crabill/Getty Images|
Kevin Harvick has been the dominant force in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing this season.
In knockout qualifying on Friday at Kansas Speedway, the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford showed no sign of relinquishing his grip on NASCAR's foremost series.
Harvick navigated the 1.5-mile speedway in 28.600 seconds (188.811 mph) in the final round of time trials to win the top starting spot for Saturday night's KC Masterpiece 400.
The Busch Pole Award was a record fourth for Harvick at Kansas, his second of the season and the 23rd of his career.
"This has been a really good place for us through the years, and obviously, when you look at qualifying day, it's one of those places that fits what we do," said Harvick, who has a series-best four victories to his credit this season, including last Sunday's win at Dover.
"It's been an entertaining day. We've had a lot of things to work through today (during practice and inspection), but it's one of those days when you look at the team and go, ‘Man, those guys are really good at what they do.' Nobody panics, and it really shows the experience and the patience that all those guys have."
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"] Harvick edged Ryan Blaney (187.826 mph) for the top spot on the grid by .015 seconds. Kyle Busch (187.552 mph) qualified third, followed by Aric Almirola (187.428 mph) and Brad Keselowski (186.748 mph).
Blaney had the fastest lap of the day in the first round (189.043 mph) but said the handling of his No. 12 Team Penske Ford tightened up in the second and third rounds.
Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Chris Buescher completed the top 10. Buescher was the only Chevrolet driver to advance to the final round, as Fords took seven of the top 12 spots and Toyotas accounted for four.
Buescher claimed his best starting spot since qualifying ninth last year at Sonoma Raceway.
"I'm proud of the effort," Buescher said. "Our 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's pretty awesome as well."
|Kyle Larson spun his No. 42 Chevrolet during the second round and will have to start from the rear of the field on Saturday|
|Sarah Crabill/Getty Images|
In the second round, Kyle Larson, one of the favorites for the pole, spun off Turn 4 and flat-spotted his tires. Larson failed to post a time in the round and earned the 22nd starting position, but the No. 42 will drop to the rear for the start of the race if the team opts to change tires.
"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," said Larson, who grazed the outside wall with his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. "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."
Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet made it through pre-qualifying inspection just in time to make a first-round qualifying run. But Johnson will start 23rd after opting not to make a run in the second round.
Jamie McMurray, the last driver to qualify in Round 1 after inspection issues, will start 24th after his car failed to fire for the second round.
The No. 14 Ford of local favorite Clint Bowyer failed to advance through inspection in time to qualify, sending Bowyer to the rear for the start of the race. Likewise, Matt Kenseth will start from the back of the field in his return to competition with Roush Fenway Racing, with his No. 6 Ford also failing to pass inspection.
|1||4||Kevin Harvick||Busch Light Ford||28.6||188.811|
|2||12||Ryan Blaney||REV Group Ford||28.75||187.826|
|3||18||Kyle Busch||M&M's Caramel Toyota||28.792||187.552|
|4||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Prime Ford||28.811||187.428|
|5||2||Brad Keselowski||Alliance Truck Parts Ford||28.916||186.748|
|6||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Freight Toyota||28.963||186.445|
|7||78||Martin Truex Jr.||5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota||29.001||186.2|
|8||41||Kurt Busch||Haas Automation Ford||29.002||186.194|
|9||22||Joey Logano||AAA Insurance Ford||29.048||185.899|
|10||37||Chris Buescher||Breyers 2 in 1 Chevrolet||29.08||185.695|
|11||21||Paul Menard||Menards/Atlas Ford||29.115||185.471|
|12||20||Erik Jones||Reser's Toyota||29.169||185.128|
|13||24|| William Byron
||Liberty University Chevrolet||29.051||185.88|
|14||19||Daniel Suarez||STANLEY Toyota||29.09||185.631|
|15||31||Ryan Newman||Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's Chevrolet||29.094||185.605|
|16||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||SunnyD Ford||29.101||185.561|
|17||9||Chase Elliott||NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet||29.173||185.103|
|18||47||AJ Allmendinger||Kroger ClickList Chevrolet||29.281||184.42|
|19||88||Alex Bowman||Axalta Chevrolet||29.311||184.231|
|20||38||David Ragan||MDS Trucking Ford||29.321||184.168|
|21||43|| Darrell Wallace Jr.
||World Wide Technology Chevrolet||29.367||183.88|
|22||42||Kyle Larson||Clover/First Data Chevrolet||28.618||188.692|
|23||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet||29.087||185.65|
|24||1||Jamie McMurray||Cessna Chevrolet||29.131||185.37|
|25||3||Austin Dillon||Symbicort Chevrolet||29.214||184.843|
|26||13||Ty Dillon||Twisted Tea Chevrolet||29.558||182.692|
|27||72||Corey LaJoie||Schluter-Systems Chevrolet||29.943||180.343|
|28||15||Ross Chastain||LowT Center Chevrolet||30.031||179.814|
|29||23||Gray Gaulding||BK Racing Toyota||30.035||179.79|
|30||55||Reed Sorenson||Harrah's North Kansas City Chevrolet||30.181||178.921|
|31||0||Landon Cassill||VNH Electric Chevrolet||30.216||178.713|
|32||51||BJ McLeod||PREFUND CAPITAL Chevrolet||30.623||176.338|
|33||14||Clint Bowyer||Haas 30 Years of the VF1 Ford||0||0|
|34||95||Kasey Kahne||Tommy Williams Drywall Chevrolet||0||0|
|35||6||Matt Kenseth||Wyndham Rewards Ford||0||0|
|36||34||Michael McDowell||Love's Travel Stops Ford||0||0|
|37||32||Matt DiBenedetto||Can-Am/Wholey Ford||0||0|
|38||66||Timmy Hill||CrashClaimsR.us Toyota||0||0|
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