Kevin Harvick beats Menard to Brickyard 400 pole
Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard – two former winners of the event – will lead the field to green in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Harvick’s average lap speed of 185.766 mph went up midway through Sunday morning’s qualifying session and withstood a late challenge from Menard to give Harvick his third career pole in the Brickyard 400.
He won the event from the pole in 2003. The pole is his fifth of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and 30th of his career.
“I just have to thank everyone on our team for everything that they do. I thought we had a good car yesterday in race trim. In practice, we never did any qualifying stuff,” Harvick said.
“I think clean air is the strategy by handling is going to come into play at some point. We saw that after about Lap 10 yesterday (in the Xfinity race), we saw who’s cars were pushing and not pushing. You’re going to have to hang on to them the best that you can in the beginning of a run to be fast.
“We’ll have to keep an eye on the tire wear to see if we can do two-tire (stops). So, there’s a number of things that will come into play today and hopefully we can finish where we start.”
Harvick hasn’t finished worse than eighth in his last five starts at Indy.
Menard – who won the Brickyard 400 in 2011 for his only Cup series win – ended up second (185.724 mph) for his best start of the season and Clint Bowyer – who is fighting to make the playoff field – was third (185.277 mph).
Joey Logano will line up fourth and Jimmie Johnson – trying to keep his playoff streak alive – starts fifth.
Rounding out the top-10 starters are Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola.
|12||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||48.799||0.351||184.430|
|15||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Chevrolet||48.905||0.457||184.030|
|27||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||49.260||0.812||182.704|
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