Skip to content

Harvick sets new track record in early qualifying at Texas, but Stewart grabs first pole since 2012

Apr 5, 2014, 4:52 PM EDT

tony stewart smoke is the bandit

Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday became the fastest 1.5-mile track for pole qualifying in Sprint Cup history, and Kevin Harvick was the man who did it.

But¬†Harvick will not start on the pole in Sunday’s Duck Commander 500. Instead, his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate and boss, Tony Stewart, will take the green flag first.

Confused?

Harvick set his mark of 198.282 mph in the first round of qualifying, but was unable to come close to posting a comparable speed in the second (24 cars) or final 12-round session.

Still, Harvick ultimately qualified third in the final round of knockout competition and will start right behind Stewart, who recorded his first Sprint Cup pole since Sept. 2012 and his 15th career pole overall.

“This thing was fast every round,” Stewart said. “I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to hold on. It felt really fast up to (turns) three and four and then it got really loose the last half of the corner. This Chevy was fast today.”

This marks the first time there have been seven different pole qualifiers in as many races to start a season since 1998, according to NASCAR statisticians.

Even though it didn’t get the pole, Ford dominated in the final round of qualifying, putting six drivers in the top 10 starting positions.

With Stewart on the pole at 195.454 mph, the rest of the top 10 starters are: Brad Keselowski (195.397), Harvick (195.312), Greg Biffle (194.700), Carl Edwards (194.637), Denny Hamlin (194.623), Trevor Bayne (194.503), Ryan Newman (194.140), Marcos Ambrose (194.063) and Joey Logano (193.743).

Last week’s race winner at Martinsville, Kurt Busch, was fastest in morning practice but qualified 11th (193.126), still giving SHR three drivers in the top 11.

Of note, Jimmie Johnson failed to qualify for the final knockout round of 12, making it the first time this season that he hasn’t reached that round. Johnson will start 16th (194.007).

Logano remains as the only driver who has made the final round of qualifying in each of the first seven races thus far.

Sprint Cup points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 19th (193.354).

Austin Dillon was battling flu-like symptoms Saturday, but still made his qualifying run, ending up 20th (193.154). Younger brother Ty took a handful of laps during Saturday morning’s practice and is on standby if needed for his sibling in Sunday’s race.

Four drivers failed to qualify: David Stremme, JJ Yeley, Joe Nemechek and Ryan Treux.

Also, there were no mishaps in qualifying, just like Saturday’s mishap-free happy hour practice.

Harvick’s 198.282 mph blast around TMS in the opening round of the three-round qualifying session put him nearly a full one second fastest than the previous fastest 1.5-mile pole qualifying speed (197.478 mph by Geoff Bodine, Atlanta, Nov. 1997).

The next fastest pole speed for a 1.5-mile track is Denny Hamlin at Charlotte in May 2013 (195.624), followed by Joey Logano at Las Vegas last month (193.278) and Matt Kenseth at Kansas (191.864 in April 2013).

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Here’s the starting grid for Sunday’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

Row 1

Tony Stewart 195.454 mph, Brad Keselowski 195.419

Row 2

Kevin Harvick 195.298, Greg Biffle 194.700

Row 3

Carl Edwards 194.637, Denny Hamlin 194.623

Row 4

Trevor Bayne 194.503, Ryan Newman 194.140

Row 5

Marcos Ambrose 194.056, Joey Logano 193.743

Row 6

Kurt Busch 193.126, Jeff Gordon 192.089

Row 7

Paul Menard 194.259, Kyle Larson 194.084

Row 8

Jamie McMurray 194.021, Jimmie Johnson 194.007

Row 9

Aric Almirola 193.590, Martin Truex Jr. 193.493

Row 10

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 193.354, Austin Dillon 193.154

Row 11

Casey Mears 193.154, Justin Allgaier 192.981

Row 12

Brian Vickers 192.768, Danica Patrick 192.761

Row 13

Clint Bowyer 194.988, Matt Kenseth 194.637

Row 14

Michael Annett 194.602, Michael McDowell 194.581

Row 15

Kyle Busch 194.539, Alex Bowman 194.454

Row 16

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 194.440, Kasey Kahne 194.028

Row 17

AJ Allmendinger 193.611, David Reutimann 192.954

Row 18

Dave Blaney 192.520, Parker Kligerman 192.219

Row 19

Travis Kvapil 192.171, Reed Sorenson 191.748

Row 20

David Gillland 191.625, Landon Cassill 191.408

Row 21

Josh Wise 191.232, Cole Whitt 189.036

Row 22

David Ragan 187.839

Latest Posts
  1. Jamie McMurray having a much different season than he’s used to on and off the track in 2014

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:03 PM EDT

    Kyle Larson, left, and Jamie McMurray, right. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) AP

    It’s pretty simple and straight-forward what Jamie McMurray must do in the next two races if he has any hope of making this year’s expanded 16-driver field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

  2. NASCAR America video: Joey Logano’s maturity shines at Bristol

    Aug 27, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT

    (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Jeff Burton spoke with Rick Allen and Frank Stoddard about the spectacle of racing at Bristol and just how difficult Joey Logano’s victory at the half-mile oval was.

  3. NASCAR America video: Tony Stewart’s status for Atlanta still up in the air

    Aug 27, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Wade Payne) AP

    NASCAR driver jeff Burton says there has been no word yet from Tony Stewart on whether the latter will return to the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Atlanta after missing the last three races due to the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy, but it could be a last-minute decision.

  4. Reports: Turner Scott’s NASCAR Truck team in transition (UPDATED)

    Aug 27, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    TSMTrucks Getty Images

    The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Turner Scott Motorsports team was reportedly set to close; however, that appears to have changed.

  5. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — Burton on replacing Stewart, Logano’s Bristol win, Atlanta look ahead

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT

    140827-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America will be chock full of looking back at Saturday’s race at Bristol, as well as starting our lookahead over the next three days for this Sunday’s night race at Atlanta.

  6. IndyCar: New Orleans race confirmed with April 12 date (UPDATED)

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    indynola

    IndyCar will formally confirm the addition of New Orleans to its 2015 schedule later Wednesday.

  7. How will CTMP NASCAR Truck race match its first one of last year?

    Aug 27, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Canadian Tire Motorsports Park - Day 1 Getty Images

    NASCAR Trucks race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend. Will they be able to match up with the 2013 edition?

  8. Olympian Matt Antoine goes for two-seater IndyCar ride in Milwaukee (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Matt-Antoine Getty Images

    Skeleton Bronze medalist Matt Antoine goes for two-seater ride with Arie Luyendyk in Milwaukee.

  9. After Pro Mazda title bout, Porsche GT3 Canada sees Pigot vs. Hargrove once again

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Photo: IMSA Photo: IMSA

    Scott Hargrove looks to secure Porsche GT3 Canada title while his season-long rival in both Porsche and Pro Mazda, Spencer Pigot, looks to play spoiler.

  10. Jeff Gordon set for 750th NASCAR Sprint Cup start in Atlanta

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Bob Brodbeck) AP

    Jeff Gordon will make his 750th Sprint Cup start at Atlanta this weekend, the site of his first in 1992, and also the site of another record he’ll hit next year.

  11. Red Bull: Rocquelin promoted, Vettel set for another new chassis

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    RocquelinVettel Getty Images

    Sebastian Vettel’s getting a new chassis for Monza, and a new engineer for 2015 at Red Bull.

  12. Fontana flashback: Gil de Ferran’s 241-plus mph record lap in 2000 (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    lg_deferran_ap_01 AP

    With Fontana this weekend, we take a look back at Gil de Ferran’s closed course speed record in 2000.

  13. Sports car racing may be confusing, but that’s no excuse for this graphic (PHOTOS)

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT

    Patrick Dempsey AP

    Promotional poster for the COTA FIA WEC event features some rather bizarre car choices to promote the race.

  14. NASCAR schedule reveals some potential 2015 IndyCar schedule hints; Texas IndyCar returns

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:23 AM EDT

    TorontoAnalysis Getty Images

    MotorSportsTalk sorts out fact from fiction regarding the yet-to-be-revealed 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, based on hints from today’s NASCAR schedule release.

  15. Kevin Harvick riled at Tony Stewart portrayal in Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT

    Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart together in happier times at Phoenix earlier this season. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) AP

    NASCAR star Kevin Harvick has never been afraid to speak his mind. But the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy has caused him to be more judicious in what he says and also “frustrated” at how the media has dealt with the entire incident.

  16. Like a good stew, 2015 Sprint Cup schedule and new Chase format need time to simmer for best taste

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:51 PM EDT

    nascar logo 2014 Getty Images

    The long-awaited release of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule was much less of the surprise many expected. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  17. NASCAR: Keselowski’s Truck team among 3 penalized after Bristol

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Brad Keselowski AP

    Brad Keselowski won his first Camping World Truck Series race last Thursday at Bristol, but his and two other teams have been dinged by NASCAR after their Trucks failed post-race height requirements.

  18. NASCAR AMERICA: How did the 2015 schedule come together? (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT

    Irwin Tools Night Race Getty Images

    Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president of racing operations, explains the factors that influence how the final racing schedule is created.

  19. NASCAR AMERICA: Kyle Petty and Jeff Burton break down 2015 schedule (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 6:21 PM EDT

    Bojangles' Southern 500 Getty Images

    The NASCAR AMERICA crew make their initial observations of the 2015 Sprint Cup docket (Hint: They’re really happy about Darlington returning to Labor Day weekend).

  20. NASCAR announces 2015 Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series schedules (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

    Aaron's 499 Getty Images

    NBC Sports Group begins its 2015 NASCAR race coverage on July 4th (Nationwide) and 5th (Sprint Cup) from Daytona International Speedway.

Video from NASCAR America

Breaking down the 2015 schedule
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. K. Busch (2162)
  2. J. Gordon (2160)
  3. K. Harvick (1637)
  4. K. Larson (1558)
  5. B. Keselowski (1299)
  1. R. Blaney (1246)
  2. C. Elliott (1114)
  3. J. Logano (1099)
  4. A. Almirola (829)
  5. C. Mears (823)