Kevin Harvick captured the pole for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday by posting the best qualifying time in the final round Friday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.
It’s the second pole of the season for Harvick, who previously led the field to the start line in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski round out the top five starters.
Here’s a look at the complete qualifying results from Texas:
Harvick is enjoying a strong season from a qualifying perspective, but he’s struggled to carry that success into race day. Only once in six starts so far during the 2017 campaign was his finishing spot higher than his starting spot (sixth in the Camping World 500 at Phoenix after starting 23rd).
That said, the 41-year-old veteran will gladly keep racking up poles and take his chances from there. Friday’s triumph results in the 19th pole victory of his Cup Series career.
NASCAR highlighted his qualifying runs:
Fox Sports NASCAR provided reaction from the California native, who will seek his first win in this event Sunday:
The other key story Friday was the group of drivers who failed to post a qualifying time.
Kelly Crandall of Racer provided the complete list, which included marquee names such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch:
Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson passed inspection but spun out late in the first qualifying session, which prevented him from competing in the second round.
Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports pointed out a quirk in the NASCAR rulebook that works against the seven-time Cup Series champion:
Looking ahead, the high number of drivers who didn’t even make it on to the track for qualifying will make for a jumbled field Sunday. A lot of fast cars are starting near the rear and will need to navigate a lot of traffic, and potentially some early crashes, to move into contention.
This race has also been traditionally wide open, too. There have been 10 different winners over the past 11 editions, with Kyle Busch being the only repeat winner over stretch. Those factors should produce an entertaining 334 laps this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
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