Harvick captures third pole of the season at Charlotte
By Zachary Lange
May 25, 2017
CONCORD, N.C.—Stewart-Haas Racing started the weekend strong as Kevin Harvick won the pole for the longest mileage race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600.
Harvick will start alongside Kyle Busch on row one with Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Erik Jones rounding out the top-5.
“We have been running well and tonight is no different,” Harvick said. “The car unloaded fast and was very edgy to drive and it was definitely a hairy lap.”
Dozens of cars sat on pit road at the beginning of round one, waiting for the sun to pass under clouds on a cool evening while others had issues during technical inspection. Both Kyle Larson and Corey Lajoie did not get to attempt a lap, and will have to start at the back of the field to start the race.
In round two, Harvick broke into the 27 second bracket posting a fast lap of 27.945 seconds along with Kyle Busch who ran a 27.947 as the track continued to cool off on Thursday evening.
As the transition to night began in qualifying, cars began to pick up the pace. Harvick once again broke the 27 second bracket in the final round posting a fast lap of 27.918 seconds, capturing his third pole of the season.
“The car went really well through turns 3 and 4 and that was always our goal to get the car through the middle of 3 and 4 and be able to stay in the gas,” Harvick said.
In round one, Harvick stated that the car nearly spun out during his first lap, but was able to rebound.
“I was able to find a happy medium with what I needed to be doing and they made the car a little bit better and we were able to capitalize on a fast Ford,” Harvick said.
In Harvick’s first two poles this season, he was able to finish in the top ten both times with a fourth place finish in Texas and a ninth place finish in Atlanta. It is Harvick’s 20th career pole in the Cup Series.
Weekend coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 continues Saturday with practice beginning at 9 a.m. on Fox Sports 1.
Ryan Willard/The Racing Experts