At the end of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualfying, it was Kevin Harvick picking up the Coors Light Pole Award for the Bojangles Southern 500. It marks Harvick’s seventh career pole and his first at the egg-shaped oval. Harvick lapped the field with a lap of 26.802 seconds in the third round of knock-out qualifying.
This is Darlington,” the 38-year-old commented. “It’s what NASCAR racing is all about.”
Joey Logano qualified second for his seventh top 10 start of 2014 as he continues the trend of Penske Racing cars qualifying well this year.
“It feels freakin’ fast,” Logano said. “I remember the first time i came here I was shaking after qualifying.”
Aric Almirola qualified third after setting a new track record during round two of qualifying with a lap of 26.705 seconds. It is the sixth track record in eight races this year. Marcos Ambrose and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.
Jamie McMurray qualified sixth, followed by Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard and Martin Truex Jr. Martinsville race winner Kurt Busch just missed the top 12 in 13th, followed by Brian Vickers and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last year’s race winner Matt Kenseth qualified 25th with six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson in 26th. Johnson commented after his run that the car was too tight.