Kevin Harvick wins the pole at Indy
Kevin Harvick has been in this position before and hopes he is again on Sunday.
Harvick posted the fastest average speed in all three rounds of Saturday’s Sprint Cup Series qualifying session to earn the pole for Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Harvick also started from the pole when he earned his first win at the Brickyard in 2003.
“After the first lap, I was probably more nervous than I’ve been in a while in qualifying. It’s great to have fast cars,” said Harvick, who now has four poles this season and 10 in his career.
“Being able to come to the race track like that is a burden off everybody’s shoulders. I feel like our race stuff is in the ballpark, too.”
Harvick set a track qualifying record with his lap at 188.889 mph in the first round.
Series points leader Jeff Gordon qualified second, Brad Keselowski was third, Ryan Newman was fourth and Brian Vickers fifth.
“Everybody is talking a little bit. We haven’t really sat down in a room and got down to a real serious discussion about it,” he said. “But I think that the people involved in the decision making have some great ideas, and the conversations are starting to happen, so we’ll see how that sort of works itself out.”
Earnhardt’s current crew chief, Steve Letarte, is moving to NBC’s broadcast booth next season.
Brandon Jones won his second Automobile Racing Club of America race in as many starts this season, holding off Austin Wayne Self Friday night for the victory at LOR. Jones, 17, is a development driver for Turner Scott Motorsports.
Brad Keselowski was second-fastest, Kevin Harvick third, Jeff Gordon fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fifth. Johnson, Harvick and Gordon have all won at the Brickyard previously.
Three things to watch
1. Of the 20 Cup races held at the Brickyard, 15 have been won by past, future or reigning series champions.
2. Over the past seven races, Brad Keselowski has earned two wins, two runner-up finishes and a third and locked himself into this year’s Chase.
3. Jeff Gordon, who drives the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, needs to lead 91 more laps to reach 24,000 led in his Cup career.
Three picks for your fantasy racing team:
Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman