Keselowski tops Harvick for Richmond Cup pole

One of the last cars to qualify, Brad Keselowski knocked Kevin Harvick from the pole of Saturday night’s NASCAR playoff race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

Keselowski tops Harvick for Richmond Cup pole

Harvick had just laid down a lap which looked good enough to earn his third consecutive pole at the short track when Keselowski followed up with an average lap speed of 127.185 mph to claim the top spot for the Federated Auto Parts 400.

Harvick ended up second (126.559 mph) and Chase Elliott was third (126.174 mph). Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five.

The pole is the third this season for Keselowski, 17th of his NASCAR Cup Series career and second at Richmond. In his only previous start from the pole at Richmond in 2014, he also won the race.

“It was really good. I didn’t really know what to expect since we didn’t do a qualifying run in practice, but we have had some phenomenal short-run speed here the two or three years here,” Keselowski said. 

“We haven’t necessarily qualified all that well but when race comes in the short runs we can really make some steam and it showed that here in qualifying. I hope we have the long-run speed because I think there will be a lot of long runs in the race, but certainly qualifying up front, getting the first pit stall and all the things that go with it are certainly great for our team.

“Went all of last year and didn’t have a pole and this year we have three. I’m really proud of my team and happy for us.”

The rest of the top-10 starters are Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr. – who the spring Richmond race – Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson is the only non-playoff driver to qualify in the top-10.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Time Gap Mph
1 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 21.229   127.185
2 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 21.334 0.105 126.559
3 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 21.399 0.170 126.174
4 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 21.411 0.182 126.103
5 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 21.417 0.188 126.068
6 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 21.442 0.213 125.921
7 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 21.509 0.280 125.529
8 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 21.526 0.297 125.430
9 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 21.563 0.334 125.214
10 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 21.569 0.340 125.180
11 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 21.585 0.356 125.087
12 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 21.598 0.369 125.012
13 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 21.605 0.376 124.971
14 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 21.609 0.380 124.948
15 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 21.612 0.383 124.931
16 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 21.617 0.388 124.902
17 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 21.631 0.402 124.821
18 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 21.640 0.411 124.769
19 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 21.655 0.426 124.683
20 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 21.660 0.431 124.654
21 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 21.699 0.470 124.430
22 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 21.702 0.473 124.412
23 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 21.737 0.508 124.212
24 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 21.747 0.518 124.155
25 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 21.808 0.579 123.808
26 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 21.865 0.636 123.485
27 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 21.873 0.644 123.440
28 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 21.896 0.667 123.310
29 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 21.910 0.681 123.231
30 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 21.960 0.731 122.951
31 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 22.061 0.832 122.388
32 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 22.124 0.895 122.039
33 52 United States J.J. Yeley  Ford 22.262 1.033 121.283
34 51 United States Austin Theriault  Chevrolet 22.329 1.10 120.919
35 77 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 22.350 1.121 120.805
36 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 22.455 1.226 120.240
37 53 United States Spencer Boyd  Chevrolet 22.584 1.355 119.554
38 27 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 22.654 1.425 119.184
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