Harvick Makes Playoff Push With Texas Pole

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Harvick Continues Playoff Push
Kevin Harvick in action Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. (HHP/Barry Cantrell photo)

FORT WORTH, Texas – Kevin Harvick will start the defense of his AAA Texas 500 win from the top starting position on Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway.

Harvick crushed the competition en route to his sixth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole of the season Saturday evening during qualifying, with a lap of 28.465 seconds (189.707 mph) in the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang.

The pole is Harvick’s second at Texas and the 31st of his Cup Series career. He’ll seek a second-straight victory that would advance him into the Championship 4 on Sunday.

“I think the key to the lap was obviously knowing that you had to be wide open,” noted Harvick. “We did a halfway qualifying run yesterday and worked most of the day on race runs and making sure we ran enough laps to know where our car was. I think the first pit stall is obviously a good stall to have here for pit road time and the things that go with that, because I think it is going to be a track position game like it was last time.

“Hopefully this pole and that first pit box help us stay on the right side of that come Sunday afternoon.”

Erik Jones, who was eliminated in round one of the playoffs, will join Harvick on the front row Sunday after posting a time of 28.588 seconds (188.890 mph) with his No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry.

Jones’ Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin rolls off third (28.615/188.712), followed by the Chevrolet duo of Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman.

Four Ford Mustangs – driven by Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse, respectively – qualified sixth through ninth, with Matt DiBenedetto’s Toyota completing the top 10.

Eleventh through 15th are five of the remaining playoff drivers, with defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano leading that rostrum. Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney ended the time-trial session just behind Logano.

Notably lowest of the playoff drivers, Martin Truex Jr. qualified 17th Saturday evening, but is already locked into the Championship 4 thanks to his win last weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

The AAA Texas 500 goes green at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, with live coverage on NBCSN, the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Texas Motor Speedway; Nov. 2, 2019

  1. #4 – Kevin Harvick, 28.465 seconds (189.707 mph)
  2. #20 – Erik Jones, 28.588 seconds (188.890 mph)
  3. #11 – Denny Hamlin, 28.615 seconds (188.712 mph)
  4. #1 – Kurt Busch, 28.657 seconds (188.436 mph)
  5. #88 – Alex Bowman, 28.669 seconds (188.357 mph)
  6. #10 – Aric Almirola, 28.675 seconds (188.317 mph)
  7. #41 – Daniel Suarez, 28.723 seconds (188.003 mph)
  8. #2 – Brad Keselowski, 28.727 seconds (187.976 mph)
  9. #17 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 28.734 seconds (187.931 mph)
  10. #95 – Matt DiBenedetto, 28.740 seconds (187.891 mph)
  11. #22 – Joey Logano, 28.755 seconds (187.793 mph)
  12. #18 – Kyle Busch, 28.764 seconds (187.735 mph)
  13. #42 – Kyle Larson, 28.782 seconds (187.617 mph)
  14. #9 – Chase Elliott, 28.817 seconds (187.389 mph)
  15. #12 – Ryan Blaney, 28.841 seconds (187.233 mph)
  16. #8 – Daniel Hemric, 28.846 seconds (187.201 mph)
  17. #19 – Martin Truex Jr., 28.863 seconds (187.091 mph)
  18. #24 – William Byron, 28.901 seconds (186.845 mph)
  19. #13 – Ty Dillon, 28.901 seconds (186.845 mph)
  20. #37 – Chris Buescher, 28.914 seconds (186.761 mph)
  21. #3 – Austin Dillon, 28.915 seconds (186.754 mph)
  22. #43 – Bubba Wallace, 28.931 seconds (186.651 mph)
  23. #48 – Jimmie Johnson, 28.936 seconds (186.619 mph)
  24. #14 – Clint Bowyer, 28.938 seconds (186.606 mph)
  25. #6 – Ryan Newman, 28.951 seconds (186.522 mph)
  26. #38 – David Ragan, 28.983 seconds (186.316 mph)
  27. #34 – Michael McDowell, 29.004 seconds (186.181 mph)
  28. #47 – Ryan Preece, 29.018 seconds (186.091 mph)
  29. #36 – John Hunter Nemechek, 29.097 seconds (185.586 mph)
  30. #96 – Parker Kligerman, 29.123 seconds (185.420 mph)
  31. #21 – Paul Menard, 29.135 seconds (185.344 mph)
  32. #00 – Landon Cassill, 29.194 seconds (184.970 mph)
  33. #32 – Corey LaJoie, 29.311 seconds (184.231 mph)
  34. #53 – J.J. Yeley, 29.534 seconds (182.840 mph)
  35. #27 – Ross Chastain, 29.633 seconds (182.229 mph)
  36. #52 – Garrett Smithley, 29.830 seconds (181.026 mph)
  37. #77 – Quin Houff, 29.831 seconds (181.020 mph)
  38. #15 – Joe Nemechek, 30.025 seconds (179.850 mph)
  39. #51 – Josh Bilicki, 30.278 seconds (178.347 mph)
  40. #66 – Timmy Hill, 30.647 seconds (176.200 mph)