Harvick hopes to repeat his 2003 success at Indy.
INDIANAPOLIS – Kevin Harvick blistered the qualifying record at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Brickyard 400 with a lap of 188.889 mph.
“The car has been running good,” said Harvick, who won the 400 from the pole in 2003. “Everybody has done a good job. Starting on the pole has been a good thing for us. Hopefully, we can do it again.”
Harvick and Jeff Gordon broke the existing track record of 187.531 mph set by last year’s pole and race winner Ryan Newman.
Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Newman and Brian Vickers rounded out the top five. Former Brickyard 400 winners Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson qualified sixth and 11th, respectively.
Juan Pablo Montoya, who is running his second Sprint Cup car this season, qualified eighth matching his first effort. He was ninth in the second round.
“We’re a little loose in but we’re tight in the middle,” Montoya reported to the crew after the first session. “I didn’t get a good lap there. I was like ‘ugh’. That’s why we were where we were.”
Danica Patrick, who qualified 14th, was pleased the she was “faster than last year”
“It was nice to make it into the top 24 and get faster from there,” Patrick said. “We’re making progress.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., transferred to the second round but posted the 23rd fastest lap. Earnhardt had “no front grip” and added he was “frustrated with qualifying and just wanted to run well tomorrow”.
“We have to figure out what’s going on,” Earnhardt said. “We have to run better than this.”
Brett Moffitt, David Stremme and Matt Crafton failed to make the show.