Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick was the fastest man on track on Saturday in the final practice session for this weekend's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Harvick recorded a best time of 29.018s (191.054mph) to edge him 0.191s ahead of Hendrick Motorsport's Kasey Kahne, who won here the last time that the Cup teams raced at Atlanta in August 2014.

See full final practice times

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However, topping the timesheets came with a big cost for Harvick, who is the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion and whose first-ever Cup victory came at this venue back in 2001, after he had replaced the late Dale Earnhardt at Richard Childress Racing three weeks after the NASCAR icon's death in a racing accident at Daytona.

The Chevrolet engine in the #4 car let go after Harvick had run 35 laps in the first half of the 80-minute session, the last chance that the teams and drivers get for track time before the green flag for the race itself on Sunday afternoon.

The SHR crew will now have to install a new engine in the car overnight, meaning that Harvick will be forced to surrender his hard-won front row starting position and drop to the back of the grid before the start.

"This is a very rare occasion," said Harvick, who has only had one engine failure (at Texas Motor Speedway last spring) since he moved to SHR at the start of 2014. The team is supplied with engines built by Hendrick Motorsports.

"The engine shop does a great job. I am just glad that it happened today," he said, pointing out that it's better to have it happen in practice than on race day. "The car is handling good. If we were going to have something happen, this is a good place to have it happen because you can pass.

Harvick won't be short of company at the back of the grid, as several big names will also be starting from there thanks to problems with the technical inspection process on Friday meaning that 13 cars didn't get to set qualifying laps, including Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth.

"It will just make for a better show," shrugged Harvick when asked how it will affect his race. The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Atlanta is 39th when Bobby Labonte won in the autumn of 2001.

Fresh from winning last week's Daytona 500, Joey Logano will start the second race of the 2015 Sprint Cup season from pole position. Logano also claimed pole position for Saturday afternoon's Xfinity Series race, with Brad Keselowski doing likewise in qualifying for the Camping World Truck Series which will be run in the early evening in an unusual doubleheader event at Atlanta.

See full final practice times