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Harvick On Pole At Bristol

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, August 22 2014

Kevin Harvick has become a pole threat in 2014. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Rusty Jarrett)

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Kevin Harvick continued to trash his reputation as a mediocre qualifier on Friday as he claimed his fifth Coors Light Pole Award of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway Friday in track record time.

Five of his 11 career poles have come in 2014.

“It just took us a little bit to get our balance right on our cars,” Harvick said. “It took us six or seven weeks. But once (my team) zeroed in on the balance number and the things we needed to make the car go fast, qualifying has been a lot better.

“They make me look like a better qualifier than I really am because they put a lot of effort into it. We were able to put down two solid laps today. Anytime you can beat the 24 right now, you know things are going OK.”

Harvick was referring to the 24 of Jeff Gordon, perhaps the only driver hotter on the Sprint Cup circuit.

Gordon, coming off a victory at Michigan last week, just missed winning a third consecutive pole, running 131.290 mph to Harvick’s 131.362.

“We’re clicking so well together right now and the result is showing,” said Gordon, who has been among the top 12 in qualifying for 11 of the last 12 Sprint Cup races.

“It builds a lot of confidence when you go to Watkins Glen, sit on the pole and run up front, then go to Michigan and sit on the pole and win, then come here and sit on the front row. Those are three unique tracks and it shows how good our cars are and our team is right now.”

All 12 cars that advanced through the first round of knockout qualifying broke the track record of 129.991 mph set by Denny Hamlin in March. Hamlin, nine-thousandths of a second slower than his lap in March, was the odd man out, bumped by Kasey Kahne for the 12th qualifying spot.

“I don’t know what it looks like, but it felt screaming fast,” said Edwards, who started 12th but went on to win the Food City 500 on March 16. “It’s just a crazy race track.”

It was the second consecutive strong qualifying effort for Edwards, who started third last week at Michigan. Prior to that, he’d qualified better than 10th once in 11 races. Edwards turned a lap of 131.209 mph and will be joined on the second row by Kyle Busch.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, August 22 2014
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