KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kevin Harvick got his quest to reach victory lane at one of his favorite tracks off to a fast start Friday evening by capturing the Busch Pole Award for the Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Harvick, a three-time Kansas winner, led a Stewart-Haas Racing sweep of the top four starting spots with a lap of 30.131 seconds (179.217 mph) around the 1.5-mile oval in his No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang.
It marked the second time in team history that Stewart-Haas cars have locked out the first two rows of the starting grid, following a similar occurrence at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October of 2018.
Friday’s qualifying effort marked Harvick’s record-extending fifth pole at Kansas, third of the season and the 28th of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
Harvick has sat on the front row in his last four Kansas Cup races, but admits he wants to erase his goose egg in the wins column with a victory on Saturday night under the lights.
“The car definitely told me it was fast on that run,” noted Harvick. “I really want to start off by thanking everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush-Yates Engines because the mile-and-a-half tracks have really been a handful for us, as we’ve gone through the beginning of the season … from new cars and different engines to different headers and body builds. They’ve done a great job, though. Everyone knew we were a little bit behind, but we saw some light at Texas and that’s carried over to here today.
“Our Busch Beer Ford is really fast and drives well in traffic, so hopefully when we get to the race tomorrow we can have another good night here at Kansas and finally get that monkey off our back this year,” Harvick added. “Poles are nice, but wins are what we really want here.”
Aric Almirola will join his Stewart-Haas teammate on the front row after turning a lap of 30.214 seconds (178.725 mph) with the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang during his qualifying run.
Though it was his fourth front-row start of the season, Almirola wasn’t satisfied with starting second to his teammate after climbing from his race car.
“Four front row starts is a positive, but when you show up here on qualifying day, you want to be first,” Almirola said. “Wow, though. We’ve felt like we’ve been a little bit behind and playing catch up at Stewart-Haas Racing, so I’m really proud of the effort by everyone at the shop and it’s paying off, as everyone can see today.
“I felt like our car was good in practice. Kevin was first on average, and I was second. Now he’s first in qualifying, and I’m second again,” he continued. “I’m tired of being second to him. Hopefully we can change that tomorrow night.”
The remaining Stewart-Haas Fords of Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez will line up on the second row in third and fourth, respectively, with Chase Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 completing the top five.
Martin Truex Jr. was the fastest Toyota driver in sixth, followed by William Byron, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and Alex Bowman.
Notable drivers starting deeper in the field include Bubba Wallace (12th), Kyle Busch (13th), three-time Kansas winner and seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (18th) and defending Cup Series titlist Joey Logano (20th).
To view complete qualifying results, advance to the next page.