Chasers will make up the first two rows on the grid.
Kevin Harvick has taken the pole position for Sunday’s AAA 400 at the Dover International Speedway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup star traversed the famed “Monster Mile” at a speed of 162.933 miles per hour.
Driving the Budweiser Chevrolet, Harvick claimed his seventh pole of the season and first at Dover.
Said the pole winner, “I am really proud of my guys as there’s a lot going on with the Chase and everything we are racing for. They keep bringing fast race cars. Qualifying went well and race trim practice went well. We just have to keep doing what we are doing. We have a much better foundation set-up wise from when we unloaded. It evolved quicker in each round of practice, so it has been a lot of fun.”
To date, Harvick has not won at Dover but he is very optimistic going into the AAA 400.
TRD has stepped it up
Sunday’s race will mark the third event in the 10 playoff races and at the end of the day, the bottom four in points will be eliminated from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup crown.
Kyle Busch to start P2
Kyle Busch earned the outside front-row starting position with a speed of 162.404 mph in the Interstate Batteries Toyota.
“It is a good opportunity for us to start up front on Sunday and hopefully have a good solid race,” Busch said. “We are better now than we were in the spring race. TRD has stepped it up; they have been working real hard and have done a nice job for us. We’ve been working hard to get our cars better, but we haven’t hit on something like the Penske cars have. Those guys are really, really good.”
Other top qualifiers
Denny Hamlin timed third fastest at 162.250 and Brad Keselowski grabbed the fourth spot at 162.140.
Trailing the front four were Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, rookie Kyle Larson, nine-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, rookie Austin Dillon, Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne.
In round one of two qualification sessions, Harvick led the way at a speed of 162.682 mph, and he was followed by Vickers, Chicago winner Keselowski, Gordon, Johnson, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Larson, McMurray, Bowyer, Kahne and Dillon.
Danica Patrick missed the top-12 by a mere .002 seconds. She will start in the 13th spot.
The rest of the Chase field
Regarding the other Chase contenders Matt Kenseth earned the 14th starting position, Carl Edwards 18th, Ryan Newman 20th, Kurt Busch 22nd, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 25th, Greg Biffle 27th and A. J. Allmendinger 28th.
The eldest Busch will be making his 500th Cup start on Sunday. Tony Stewart, who was recently cleared in the death of Kevin Ward Jr., qualified 15th.
For only the third time in 2014, Joey Logano missed timing within the top twelve and will start 16th.