Kevin Harvick rebounds with Phoenix pole over Chase Elliott

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Kevin Harvick rebounds with Phoenix pole over Chase Elliott
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Nov 10, 2018, 1:02 AM

Kevin Harvick couldn’t have bounced back any better.

Without his crew chief and car chief for the final two races of the season following a NASCAR penalty this week, Harvick save the fastest lap of the day for the final session of Friday’s qualifying.

Harvick’s average lap speed of 139.340 mph topped Chase Elliott (139.152 mph) and handed him the pole for Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

Harvick had won last weekend’s race at Texas and earned an automatic berth in the Championship 4 but lost that privilege as part of the penalty. He was also stripped of 40 points.

It is still possible for Harvick to advance on points to Homestead but it will be more difficult. Winning Sunday’s race will again lock Harvick into the Championship 4.

“It’s pretty awesome to see a group of people to come together to fill the gap during the suspensions,” Harvick said. “Like I told them over the radio, everybody on this (team) has been there before and we know what we need to do.

“This is a great race track for us. I really wasn’t expecting that – our cars are usually a lot better in race trim than qualifying trim. I just got fortunate to hit a good lap there and it came at a good time.”

Told some would say the wrestler comes out in these situations when he’s back into a corner, Harvick said, “I don’t need to tell you about it, you can look at the scoreboard.”

The pole is Harvick’s fourth of the season and 25th of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was third, Ryan Blaney fourth and Alex Bowman completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 12 starters are Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard and Brad Keselowski.

Round 2

Elliott went out early and led the way in the second round with an average lap speed of 139.411 mph – the fastest lap made on the track to this point on Friday.

Larson ended up second (139.066 mph) and Kyle Busch was third (139.055 mph). Hamlin and Menard completed the top-five.

Also advancing to the final round were Bowman, Jones, Harvick, Blaney, Stenhouse, Keselowski and Logano.

Among those failing to advance were Martin Truex Jr., who got knocked out in the final 30 seconds by Keselowski; Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman.

“It wasn’t bad,” Bowyer said. “We’ll be alright. We just need a good day tomorrow in practice and we’ll go off on Sunday.”

Round 1

Kenseth ended up the surprise leader of the first 15-minute qualifying session with an average lap speed of 138.313 mph.

Austin Dillon was second (137.936 mph) and Harvick was third (137.625 mph). Kurt Busch was fourth and Kyle Busch ended up fifth.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Stenhouse, Logano, Byron, Keselowski and Jones. Jones had been fastest in Friday’s only practice session.

It took four tries for Truex’s No. 78 Toyota to clear pre-qualifying inspection on Friday, which resulted in the ejection of his car chief for the remainder of the weekend.

Truex finally made it on the track with time to spare and posted the 21st-fastest speed.

Among those who failed to advance to the final round were Chris Buescher, Daniel Suarez, Ty Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr. and David Ragan.

Cla # Driver 4506 Time Gap Mph
1 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 25.836   139.340
2 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 25.871 0.035 139.152
3 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 25.898 0.062 139.007
4 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 25.924 0.088 138.867
5 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 25.948 0.112 138.739
6 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 25.954 0.118 138.707
7 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 26.022 0.186 138.344
8 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 26.038 0.202 138.259
9 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 26.039 0.203 138.254
10 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 26.040 0.204 138.249
11 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 26.108 0.272 137.889
12 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 26.150 0.314 137.667
13 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 26.023 0.187 138.339
14 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 26.053 0.217 138.180
15 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 26.074 0.238 138.069
16 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 26.110 0.274 137.878
17 6 United States Matt Kenseth  Ford 26.131 0.295 137.767
18 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 26.140 0.304 137.720
19 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 26.162 0.326 137.604
20 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 26.174 0.338 137.541
21 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 26.176 0.340 137.531
22 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 26.212 0.376 137.342
23 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 26.313 0.477 136.815
24 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 26.368 0.532 136.529
25 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 26.342 0.506 136.664
26 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 26.368 0.532 136.529
27 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 26.487 0.651 135.916
28 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 26.516 0.680 135.767
29 95 United States Regan Smith  Chevrolet 26.539 0.703 135.649
30 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 26.560 0.724 135.542
31 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 26.614 0.778 135.267
32 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 26.834 0.998 134.158
33 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 26.970 1.134 133.482
34 72 United States Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 27.001 1.165 133.328
35 23 United States J.J. Yeley  Toyota 27.010 1.174 133.284
36 97 Tanner Berryhill  Toyota 27.231 1.395 132.202
37 66 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 27.457 1.621 131.114
38 7 Canada D.J. Kennington  Chevrolet 27.666 1.830 130.124
39 51 Cody Ware  Ford    

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Phoenix II
Drivers Kevin Harvick
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Author Jim Utter
Article type Qualifying report