Truex snags Kansas pole over Harvick

Truex snags Kansas pole over Harvick
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Oct 20, 2017, 11:23 PM

For Martin Truex Jr., it was a win-win on Friday at Kansas Speedway.

Not only did Truex collect his 15th career Cup pole, his second at the track and his third pole of 2017, but he also earned the first pit stall selection for next weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway for finishing first in qualifying. 

“We knew this was a big one tonight with next week’s pit selection,” Truex said. “Cole (Pearn, crew chief) made the right adjustments and we were able to go after it. 

“This stuff is so difficult These teams work so hard. If you’re not going forward, you’re going backwards. Great job by my team.”

Kevin Harvick will start second followed by Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon.

Blaney left his stall first but moved aside and allowed Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth to attempt qualifying runs. Kenseth topped Hamlin (187.461mph) with a lap of 187.604mph. Kevin Harvick (187.682mph) and Kyle Busch (186.329mph) were next with just over two minutes to go.

“Stepped out at the end of (Turn) 3,” Harvick said after posting the top lap of 187.682mph. Busch was fourth 186.329mph.

With a minute remaining, Blaney was second behind Harvick, but Truex’s lap of 188.029mph earned the top spot. 

“I had to lift in (Turn) 4,” said Bowyer, who was 10th (185.599mph).

NASCAR called time had expired as Keselowski and Dillon completed their laps. 

Round 2 

Stewart-Haas Racing grabbed the top spot again with Kevin Harvick’s lap of 187.533mph. 

Brad Keselowski posted the second-fastest lap followed by Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray.

Again, Blaney was first on the track in the Omnicraft Auto Parts Ford. He set the pace with a lap of 187.266mph. Kenseth was second (187.175mph) followed by Larson (185.880mph). The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Kyle Busch (186.864) and Denny Hamlin (186.509) posted the third and fourth quick times, respectively.

With seven minutes to go, Kahne posted a lap of 184.533mph. Truex vaulted to the top of the chart with a lap of 187.344mph. Jones lap was sixth-quick (186.220mph), McMurray seventh (186.085mph), Elliott ran 11th (185.765mph) and Kurt Busch was 12th (185.274mph). 

Just before the five-minute mark, Kevin Harvick climbed to P1 — 187.533mph. Earnhardt’s lap was 14th-quick which he described as “terrible”. Keselowski bumped Truex to second with a run of 187.428mph. Suarez ran eighth (186.445mph).

Larson, who had dropped to 13th, made a second attempt with 90-seconds on the board but did not advance. Kurt Busch ran a second lap but didn’t improve. On Jimmie Johnson’s first attempt, he could only muster the 13th-fastest lap — 185.957mph. He knocked Larson to 14th.

“We dodged a bullet,” said McMurray, who was the last driver to transfer.

Elliott qualified 15th — the fourth driver bumped from the final round.

Round 1

The Stewart-Haas Racing Fords of Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick claimed the top two positions in the first round of time trials of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400. 

Martin Truex Jr. was third followed by Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Michael McDowell, Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne, Chris Buescher, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Paul Menard.

Ryan Blaney (185.548mph) was the first driver to post a time in qualifying — 29.10-seconds. Jeffrey Earnhardt was second (174.842mph) followed by Brett Moffitt, who bumped the No. 33 for second (177.183mph). Landon Cassill ran next and was second-quick (178.512mph).

Kevin Harvick cruised off of pit road followed by Corey LaJoie. Harvick’s lap of 185.637mph topped the chart, LaJoie was initially fifth-quick (177.183mph). Truex bumped the No. 4 Ford for the top spot with a speed of 185.944mph (29.041-sec). Kasey Kahne posted the fourth quickest lap but was immediately bumped by Matt Kenseth (P2, 185.816mph) and Kyle Larson (P5, 184.388mph) 

Austin Dillon (183.730mph), Joey Logano (183.125mph) and Brad Keselowski (182.989mph) were eighth, ninth and 10th in the first seven minutes, but after Jones set the fifth-fastest lap (185.331mph), the three drivers dropped down the list Jamie McMurray’s first lap (185.752mph) was initially third-quick until he was knocked back by Dale Earnhardt Jr. (185.803mph). With just over six minutes to do, Denny Hamlin posted the second fastest lap (185.842mph). 

At the six-minute mark, Kurt Busch shot to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 186.335mph. Suarez completed his first lap with five minutes to go. He was 10th-quick (185.242mph). Ryan Newman dropped to 11th followed by Bowyer, Johnson, Elliott, McDowell, Larson, Kahne, Buescher, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., rounded out the top 24. 

Danica Patrick vaulted to second (186.303mph) on the board with four minutes remaining on the clock.  With one minute to go, Logano, Kahne, Kyle Busch, Ty Dillon, Austin Dillon, Stenhouse and Keselowski made second attempts. 

“That’s all she’s got in it,” Stenhouse said after moving from 26th to 25th but failing to advance to Round 2. Stenhouse was the only playoff driver not in the top 24.

Watch Truex talk about winning the pole at Kansas: 

1 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 28.719   188.029
2 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 28.772 0.053 187.682
3 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 28.782 0.063 187.617
4 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 28.784 0.065 187.604
5 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 28.806 0.087 187.461
6 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 28.891 0.172 186.909
7 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 28.921 0.202 186.716
8 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 28.981 0.262 186.329
9 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 29.089 0.370 185.637
10 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 29.095 0.376 185.599
11 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 29.213 0.494 184.849
12 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 29.333 0.614 184.093
13 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 29.039 0.320 185.957
14 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 29.051 0.332 185.880
15 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 29.069 0.350 185.765
16 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 29.146 0.427 185.274
17 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 29.160 0.441 185.185
18 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 29.193 0.474 184.976
19 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 29.194 0.475 184.970
20 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 29.217 0.498 184.824
21 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 29.240 0.521 184.679
22 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 29.263 0.544 184.533
23 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 29.269 0.550 184.496
24 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 29.314 0.595 184.212
25 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 29.421 0.702 183.542
26 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 29.429 0.710 183.492
27 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 29.553 0.834 182.723
28 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 29.656 0.937 182.088
29 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 29.660 0.941 182.063
30 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 29.682 0.963 181.928
31 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 29.698 0.979 181.830
32 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 30.143 1.424 179.146
33 83 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota 30.149 1.430 179.110
34 55 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 30.225 1.506 178.660
35 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 30.235 1.516 178.601
36 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 30.245 1.526 178.542
37 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 30.394 1.675 177.667
38 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 30.445 1.726 177.369
39 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 30.530 1.811 176.875
40 00 united_states Derrike Cope  Chevrolet 0.000   0.000
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Kansas II
Location Kansas Speedway
Drivers Martin Truex Jr.
Teams Furniture Row Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Qualifying report