Kevin Harvick Wins First Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 Pole

CONCORD, N.C. — Kevin Harvick scored the fastest lap time in Round 3 of qualifying in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford at Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday with a speed of 193.424 mph, winning his first pole for the Coca-Cola 600.

It’s his third Coors Light Pole this season and the 20th of his career. Harvick also has two previous victories in the event in 2011 and 2013 and is one of three active Cup Series drivers who have multiple Coca-Cola 600 wins (Jimmie Johnson has three, Kasey Kahne has four).

Harvick credited his team with giving him the car to beat, saying, “The cars in qualifying were a lot looser than they were in practice and just based on past experience here it was a handful through one and two. I just about lost it the first run, but the car was so good in three and four I didn’t want to over-adjust on it and make it too tight down there because you get tighter as the lap runs, so the guys did a good job of making adjustments, but not making it so tight that I couldn’t carry the throttle like I needed to in three and four. So they just did a great job on our Mobil 1 Ford.”

Kyle Busch, winner of last week’s All-Star race, will join him on the front row, posting the second-fastest lap at 192.513 mph in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. If he can capture the checkered flag this Sunday, he would become the eighth driver who has won the All-Star race and followed it up with a win the following week in the Coca-Cola 600.

Chase Elliott will start third in his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet after a qualifying lap of 192.260, with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth in fourth (192.130). Erik Jones rounds out the top five in his Furniture Row Racing Toyota (191.782).

Kyle Larson, the series points leader, and Corey LaJoie missed the first round of qualifying when they were unable to pass inspection before the round ended. Larson will start 39th in his Chip Ganassi Chevrolet and LaJoie will start 40th in his No. 83 Toyota.

Larson, while disappointed, isn’t overly concerned.

“It happened to us at Texas and we rebounded from that and finished second,” he said. “I’m not too worried about it. I know the teams are frustrated with the tech process. I know nothing about how it all works. I don’t really have much to say about it other than I know my crew chief hates it.”

The Coca-Cola 600 will be broadcast Sunday, May 28, at 6 p.m. on FOX.

Follow @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

Coca-Cola 600 Starting Lineup:

Coca Cola 600 Starting Lineup C1712_STARTROW

 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

Angela Campbell
Angela Campbell
A native of Charlotte, NC, Angela (Angie) was first introduced to racing by her father. An avid fan of NASCAR, she found a way to combine her love of racing with her passion for writing. Angie is also an award-winning member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

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