Harvick Keeps Rolling, Claims PIR Pole

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Kevin Harvick will start from the pole for Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix Int'l Raceway. (HHP/Gregg Ellman Photo)
Kevin Harvick will start from the pole for Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix Int'l Raceway. (HHP/Gregg Ellman Photo)
Kevin Harvick will start from the pole for Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway. (HHP/Gregg Ellman Photo)

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kevin Harvick hasn’t slowed down since leaving Las Vegas last weekend.

The reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and winner last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway kept his hot streak alive Friday by winning the pole for Saturday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway.

“Everybody on our Jimmy John’s/Budweiser team is doing a great job,” said Harvick, who is the defending winner of this race. “This is a pretty special place. All these West Coast races are special, but this one in particular just for the fact that we use to bring our Southwest Tour cars here and our Winston West cars.”

Harvick topped the charts in the final round of qualifying with a 25.557-second lap at 140.751 mph to earn his 15th career pole and first at Phoenix Int’l Raceway. Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano qualified second with his 25.615-second lap.

“I didn’t actually know that we hadn’t been on pole here,” Harvick said. “To get that first pole with these guys and celebrate anything that we hadn’t done or have done every week is just a new adventure and it’s pretty special to be a part of a group of guys like this.”

Jamie McMurray was third fastest, followed by Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman. Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, the returning Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson completed the top 12 in the final round of qualifying.

David Ragan, racing in place of injured driver Kyle Busch, paced the first round of qualifying with a 25.922-second lap at 138.878 mph that came just as time expired. He was followed by Newman, Kahne, Kurt Busch and McMurray.

Among those failing to advance to round two were Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Trevor Bayne and Sam Hornish Jr.

Harvick was the fastest qualifier in the second round of qualifying, circling the track in 25.616 seconds at 140.537 mph. Kahne was second ahead of Logano, Kenseth and Edwards.

Ragan was the first driver who failed to advance to round two, qualifying 13th. Others who failed to advance were Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.

Tanner Berryhill and Travis Kvapil failed to qualify for Sunday’s race. Matt DiBenedetto qualified 35th and will make his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Sunday.