SPEEDWAY, Ind. — staff report — NASCAR photo — Kevin Harvick picked up his fourth pole of the season after topping NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
The 2003 Brickyard winner led the field in the final all three qualifying sessions, leading the 12-car field in the final run with a 188.470 mph for the honor of leading the field to green in Sunday’s 21st annual Crown Royal presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard (1 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Harvick is the only driver to lead all three rounds of qualifying at a track, and it’s the second time he’s done it this year, earning the pole at Michigan International Speedway last month. He set an Indy track record in the first round of qualifying at 188.889 mph, and his pole snapped a streak of 16 different pole-sitters at the track. Harvick won the pole in 2003 on his way to becoming the only driver to win the Brickyard from the pole.
Sitting next to Harvick on front row will be four-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon, who secured his spot with a speed of 187.770. Fitting in behind Harvick and Gordon wlll be Brad Keselowski and defending race-winner Ryan Newman. Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne round out the top 10.
All three Roush Fenway Racing cars were knocked out in the second round, with Carl Edwards,Greg Biffle, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. placing 18th, 19th, and 21st, respectively. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was also knocked out in the second round and will start 23rd.
Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and 2011 Brickyard winner Paul Menard all missed the cut after the first session and will start the race in 25th, 27th and 29th position, respectively.
Aric Almirola hit the wall during the session and will race tomorrow with his backup car for the second consecutive race. The driver of the No. 43 qualified 41st but will start at the back of the pack, just behind former series champion and 2000 Brickyard champion Bobby Labonte, who earned the past champion’s provisional and the 43rd position.
Reed Sorenson, David Stremme and Matt Crafton were the three lowest qualifiers in the first round and thus, did not make the 43-car race.