NASCAR »

Harvick on sweeping form to clinch Indy pole

Kevin Harvick made sure no one was any doubt about his pace at Indianapolis, as he swept all three rounds of qualifying and set a new track record.
CLICK: Full Sprint Cup qualifying results from Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Kevin Harvick proved unstoppable in Sprint Cup qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, as he topped each of the three elimination rounds - the first time anyone's achieved that since the new format was brought in - on his way to pick up pole position with a final round effort of 47.753s (188.470mph).

That makes it Harvick's tenth career pole in 486 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, and his fourth of 2014. It's the second time that he'll have started from the front at the historic IMS.

Harvick also set a new qualifying track record for Cup cars at Indianapolis, after opening his qualifying with a first round effort of 47.647s (188.889mph) when his tyres were at their freshest. That eclipses the old track record of 187.531mph set last year by last year's race winner Ryan Newman, the driver that Harvick replaced at Stewart-Haas Racing at the start of this season and who will start from fourth place on Sunday.

"After the first lap I was probably more nervous than I have been in a while for qualifying," Harvick said afterwards. "I wasn't really expecting to have the car run that fast. From there they are all looking at you: 'Alright if you screw this up it's on you buddy!'

"It's great to have fast cars they do a great job preparing the cars and just being able to come to the race track and know the cars are going to be fast takes a huge burden off of everybody's shoulders just to get the balance right," he continued. "It's been a unique few hours of practice with the race track being green this morning. We concentrated on qualifying and felt our race stuff was in the ball park yesterday and still kind of up in the air, but we made a lot of good decisions today to get the car right.

"It's been an interesting weekend so far, but everybody has done a good job in scrambling to get the balance right," he added.

Team boss Tony Stewart - who himself qualified in sixth place for Sunday afternoon's Crown Royal Brickyard 400 just ahead of a third member of the SHR line-up Kurt Busch - was more than happy with the team's progress so far this weekend.

"We had an awesome day today the guys on the Mobil 1 team did a great job," he acknowledged. "Kevin with his team and all three of us had good runs. Danica [Patrick] had a good run too she just missed it by a little bit to get in that final round. The entire Stewart-Haas organization did a good job."

Harvick will be joined on the front row by Hendrick Motorsport's Jeff Gordon who was just 0.178s off matching Harvick's time in the last round of qualifying but who was quick to concede that was a huge gap in the NASCAR scale of things.

"We didn't have anything for Kevin today, but what an incredible Axalta Chevy SS that we have this weekend," he said. "I got a little bit tight off to Turn 4 or we would have been a little bit closer to Kevin, but I'm still really proud of this effort. Qualifying second, qualifying is so huge here."

Brad Keselowski will line up in third place alongside Newman, but he admitted that Harvick was going to be a hard act to match on race day.

"It's always scary when Kevin is fast in qualifying," he said. "Kevin, when he qualifies well, you know he's gonna probably be a dominant car in the race and they have been really fast all year, so we're gonna have to work hard to beat him and obviously Jeff has been really fast, so we've been right there. We've got to keep working on it and I think we've got a chance of pulling off a victory here this weekend, so I'm very excited for it."

Brian Vickers takes fifth place alongside Stewart, while Kurt Busch - who ran this year's Indianapolis 500 in May - starts on row four alongside another man who drove in the Indy 500, Juan Pablo Montoya. Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne start from the row behind, with Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch the final drivers to make it into the final top 12 shootout round of qualifying.

There was disappointment for the Roush Fenway Racing squad which saw all three of their drivers eliminated from qualifying in round 2. Carl Edwards will start from 18th just ahead of Greg Biffle in 19th while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start from 21st. Also eliminated in round two were Matt Kenseth (who starts from 13th alongside Danica Patrick), Kyle Larson (15th) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (23rd).

Denny Hamlin was deeply disappointed to iss the Q1 cut and will line up in 27th place on the grid one row ahead of Paul Menard.

Richard Petty Motorsports' Aric Almirola will have to start from the back after hitting the wall during qualifying and being forced to the backup car for the race. He'll start just behind Bobby Labonte, who made the grid via a past champion's provisional entry. Failing to make the 43-car grid were Reed Sorenson, David Stremme and Matt Crafton.

See full Sprint Cup qualifying results from Indianapolis Motor Speedway



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth fastest Saturday, July 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, qualified fourth fastest Saturday, July 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualified 2nd fastest Saturday, July 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Next to him on the front row will be pole winner Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, was the fastest qualifier Saturday, July 26, 2014 to capture the pole position for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Johnson advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS races to win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with his daughter, Ella Sofia Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick drives the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet back to pit road after cutting a tyre during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, lead the field to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.