April 4, 2014 — report by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Race Chaser Online — photo courtesy Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway — FORT WORTH, TX — Inspection issues? What inspection issues?
That’s exactly what Kevin Harvick and his JR Motorsports (JRM) team were saying following Friday’s Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Texas Motor Speedway.
Harvick, part of a four-car JRM juggernaut, was part of a group of 17 drivers that saw their cars sent back through the tech line multiple times, however Harvick’s No. 5 Chevrolet was cleared in time to make one qualifying lap in the first round.
That lap was all he needed. Not only was Harvick fastest in Session One, he continued his blaze of glory through the remaining two sessions, topping all three knockout qualifying sessions en route to the Coors Light Pole Award.
The pole is Harvick’s first at Texas in the Nationwide Series, and his 25th career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole after setting a lap of 184.963 mph in the final round of qualifying.
Matt Kenseth qualified second, with Harvick’s fellow JR M0torsports teammates Regan Smith and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprising Row Two.
Elliott Sadler rounded out the top five on the grid.
The quartet of Ty Dillon, Kyle Busch, Chris Buescher and Kyle Larson all never made it through pre-qualifying inspection to post a lap during the first round of qualifying. All four drivers will start from the rear of tonight’s field.
Dillon will have to work his way through the field after leading both of yesterday’s Nationwide Series practice sessions.
NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton addressed the inspection issues following qualifying.
“Basically, it was mostly the camber and tow issues on the rear-end housing,” Pemberton said. “The majority of those teams had the same issues (Thursday) during their inspection for practice.”
“When we have rules that are new — and we have a different way of measuring things from time to time over the history of the sport — generally you have more issues up front and situations like this. It’s a new system that takes some time to get used to and adjust on, and it’s something we’ll continue to monitor.”
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 takes the green flag tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET, and can be seen live on ESPN2.