Harvick gets first pole of year at Indianapolis

Harvick gets first pole of year at Indianapolis

SPEEDWAY, Ind. - Kevin Harvick scored his first pole of the year with a track record lap of 184.343 mph. It is Harvick's second career up-front start. "That was an awesome lap," Harvick said. "I saw Bill (Elliott) and Ryan (Newman) put up some...

SPEEDWAY, Ind. - Kevin Harvick scored his first pole of the year with a track record lap of 184.343 mph. It is Harvick's second career up-front start.

"That was an awesome lap," Harvick said. "I saw Bill (Elliott) and Ryan (Newman) put up some pretty good laps, so we knew we had to go for it."

Kevin Harvick.
Photo by Thomas Chemris.
Ryan Newman starts on the outside pole even though weather almost marred his run of 184.237 mph.

"It was raining in Turns 3 and 4 when I qualified," Newman said. "I didn't think my time would stand up. I knew a lot of fast cars were coming. The track got faster with the rain and clouds coming in."

"I didn't expect to be quite that fast," Newman continued. "I also didn't think my time would stand up. I knew a lot of fast cars were coming."

Bill Elliot is the second of three Dodge's gracing the top-five in third.

"It was a good run," Elliott said. "I was very pleased with the car. I don't know how I could go back out and run a better lap."

Ward Burton garners his best start of the season in fourth followed by Michael Waltrip rounding out the top five.

The qualifying advantage went to the first drivers to attempt their time- trial speed while clouds covered the racetrack. Seven of the first twelve drivers to make their qualifying lap beat the track record set by reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart last year with a speed of 182.960 mph.

Stewart will start 15th.

Point leader Matt Kenseth takes the green flag from the 17th position, while the second man in the title chase barely missed having to take a provisional to make the field.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was the last driver to make it into the field on time, a lackluster start for the No. 8 DEI Chevrolet team.

"The car didn't handle good," Earnhardt said. "It just didn't drive good, didn't feel good. It was just uncomfortable. It wasn't set up good enough, I guess. I just drove into the corner and didn't have the grip I needed and couldn't cut a fast lap."

Fifty-two drivers attempted to qualify for the forty-three-car field. Regulars failing to make the show included Ken Schrader, Christian Fittipaldi, and the No. 4 Morgan-McClure Pontiac piloted this week by Brett Bodine.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Brett Bodine , Ward Burton , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Ryan Newman , Christian Fittipaldi