NSCS: Harvick Storms to Bristol Pole with New Track Record

RaceChaser Staff Featured, NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

BRISTOL, Tenn. — staff report — Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images photo —¬†Coming into 2014, Kevin Harvick had six career Coors Light Pole Awards in his trophy case. Now, 23 races into the season, the Stewart Haas Racing driver has nearly doubled that, with five more.

Harvick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway Friday afternoon, denying Jeff Gordon his third straight pole in the Sprint Cup Series.

Harvick scored his fifth pole of the season and the 11th of his career with a fast lap of 131.362 mph in the final round of qualifying. That set a new track record at Bristol.

Gordon topped the first round of qualifying and will join Harvick on the front row. The two drivers have combined to take the last four poles in the Sprint Cup Series with Harvick taking it at Indianapolis and Bristol and Gordon grabbing the pole at Watkins Glen and Michigan.

Carl Edwards will start third with Kyle Busch on Row 2 with him. Edwards won the spring race at Bristol, the Food City 500, and Busch has five career Sprint Cup wins at the 0.533-mile track.

Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson will comprise Row 3.

Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson, who topped opening practice on Friday, smacked the wall minutes into the first round of qualifying. He came back out onto the track minutes later but he did not advance to the final round of qualifying.

Larson was not the only driver to hit the wall in qualifying.

Aric Almirola, who finished third in the spring race at Bristol, also tagged the wall during the first round of qualifying. A cut tire sent Casey Mears into the wall as well. Rookie Cole Whitt spun out during a lap with both the front and rear of the car hitting wall.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. missed the first 19 minutes of the 30-minute opening round of qualifying as his car was going through technical inspection. Stenhouse had topped final practice but did not advance to the final round of qualifying. He finished second in the spring race this year.

Other notable drivers to not advance to the final round of qualifying: Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The Irwin Tools Night Race will be on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET with television coverage on ABC.

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