Home » FEATURE STORY, NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series

Harvick Sprints To Pole For Dover Cup Race

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, September 26 2014

Kevin Harvick to start Dover from P1. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Rusty Jarrett)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

Kevin Harvick’s conversion to a qualifying monster continued Friday when he took the pole for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.

The pole was the seventh of the season for Harvick, who just six in his previous 13 years in the sport.

“It’s been an amazing year for everybody on our Budweiser Stewart-Haas racing team,” he e said. “They just do a great job in preparing the race cars and put a lot of effort into qualifying and it’s translated into a lot of good finishes. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing. Track position is huge here, especially at the beginning of the race. I’ve never been in that stall, so I guess it’s going to be okay on that end of pit road. But all in all, I’m just really proud of all my guys. They’ve done a great job all year, but particularly over the last month and just getting consistent cars, finishing races, and doing what we have to do to get those solid runs.”

Harvick covered the one-mile distance in 22.095 seconds (162.933 mph) to edge Kyle Busch (162.404 mph) for the top spot on the grid. Denny Hamlin (162.250 mph) qualified third, followed by series leader Brad Keselowski (162.140 mph), Jamie McMurray (161.936 mph) and Jeff Gordon (161.573 mph).

Busch said he felt good about his qualifying effort.

“I’m pretty confident with it,” the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said. “I think we had a good car here in the spring — we just kind of lost the handle on it a little bit there early in the race. But, the way the track rubbered in throughout the first run and then especially the second run of the race — we just weren’t ready for what happened. So, I think we’ve got a better understanding this time around and qualifying obviously went well for us here being in second and it’s a good starting spot for us. It keeps us upfront and hopefully we can keep that track position and have a good handling car through the runs of the race and be there at the end.”

Busch’s JGR teammate, Hamlin, needs a good result at Dover this weekend. He sits 13th in points and needs to move up a spot if he is to qualifying for the next round of the playoffs, which begins next weekend at Kansas Speedway.

“Obviously,” Hamlin said, “excited to get the weekend off started on a good foot. Just putting ourselves in a good position to start the race and obviously with a good pit stall as well. Will give us a good advantage for Sunday. We just hope to kind of build some momentum and obviously have a strong run this weekend. It will be very timely.”

Aric Almirola of Richard Petty Racing, who sits in 16th place – last – in the Chase playoff’s elimination format, qualified 21st in his Ford Fusion.

Afterward, he seemed anything but worried.

“That’s actually kind of par for the course for us,” he said. “We typically qualify 21st. I think we’ve qualified 21st or 23rd the last three or four weeks and we’ve run top-five, top-10 during the race, so hopefully that’s the same this weekend and we’ll have a good race. During practice in race trim our car was driving pretty nice, so we’ll just work on it some more tomorrow and see if we can’t get this Ford Fusion up front.”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, September 26 2014
No Comment

Comments are closed.