Harvick zooms to Talladega pole

Harvick zooms to Talladega pole

Kevin Harvick was in a time zone of his own beating the field by nearly one-mile-per-hour with a lap of 189.804 to gain the Budweiser pole at Talladega Superspeedway. This is Harvick's first pole of the season and third of his...

Kevin Harvick was in a time zone of his own beating the field by nearly one-mile-per-hour with a lap of 189.804 to gain the Budweiser pole at Talladega Superspeedway. This is Harvick's first pole of the season and third of his career.

Pole winner Kevin Harvick.
Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt.
"We've done a lot of work to make our engines better I don't think we have ever had a distinct problem on supserspeedways," said Harvick. "I've always been the first one to jump up and say our engines are not what they need to be and we have to go to work.we have made progress and we are going in the right direction."

It marks a turn around for Richard Childress Racing who struggled at the onset of the season. Previous to this week, Harvick had only one top five start and five starts of 17th or worse.

It is the first pole for RCR since Harvick started from the top spot for the 2003 Brickyard 400.

"The last couple years here and Daytona we always look forward to coming to superspeedways," said Harvick. "We destroyed both cars at Daytona and we had to go and build new cars.hopefully we can carry the success we have had today on to Sunday."

Jeff Gordon will take the green flag from the outside pole on Sunday Gordon is the defending winner of this event.

"I feel like our cars and our team are where they need to be competitive," said Gordon who posted a lap of 188.988 mph. "We're going to take advantage of being competitive wherever we can and make the best of it. Right now our restrictor plate program is one of the best things we've got going for us."

Elliott Sadler and the No. 38 Robert Yates Racing Ford will start third. Sadler's lap of 188.548 mph earned Team 38 their fourth top-10 start of 2004.

"A Ford hasn't won a race here since 1998," said Sadler. "I sat on the pole here a couple f years ago, so I've got something that can run with them on Sunday. Just gotta be in the right place at the right time. I just want to get a Ford in victory lane. I'm tired of those bow ties (Chevrolet's) hogging up all the show here.

"So, I am going to try and go out there and lead some laps and do what we can."

Scott Riggs was the surprise of the weekend. The No. 10 Chevy was stealth in practice and held up during time-trial efforts. His lap of 188.474 mph secured fourth.

Ryan Newman completes the top five.

"I didn't do anything any different to pick up speed," said Newman. "But it was a good effort for sure. I don't know what to expect the whole weekend, but obviously to have a fast race car is good when you're looking to lead the draft."

There was more parody in the line-up than in Busch qualifying Thursday where Chevy's swept almost all of the top spots; three Chevy's, a Ford, and a Dodge make-up the top five starters.

Favorite at Talladega, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., continues to struggle with the newly realigned No. 8 team. He qualified the Budweiser Chevrolet 36th.

"It is disappointing to qualify as bad as we do," said Earnhardt. "Compared to how we used to run here. I think, you know, just like Daytona, we were slow in qualifying. We will get up there somehow in the race.

"We always do."

Nextel Cup series point leader Jimmie Johnson will roll the No. 48 Chevy off sixth. Johnson currently leads by 173 points over Kurt Busch.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Yates Racing