May 9, 2014, 7:58 PM EDT
The only drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to have two wins thus far this season — Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano – will start from the front row in Saturday’s Five-Hour Energy 400 Benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation at Kansas Speedway.
Harvick once again lived up to his “Freaky Fast” nickname, taking his second pole of the season in his Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet with a top speed of 194.252 mph, a new track record. It was also Harvick’s second career pole at Kansas.
“My qualifying record hasn’t been great, but they’ve really done a good job in getting our qualifying stuff situated after the first four or five weeks of the season,” Harvick said of his No. 4 SHR crew. “To come here and sit on the pole, I thought I had screwed it up. I never got through (turns) 3 and 4 how I wanted to. I felt like I got through 1 and 2 all three laps pretty good, but 3 and 4 was a little bit too tight. I got a little bit concerned, but all-in-all, it worked out okay.”
Harvick and all three of his other Stewart Haas Racing teammates qualified within the top nine spots.
Logano wasn’t far behind Harvick, as his Team Penske Ford also broke the old track mark at 193.910 mph, part of a three-driver Ford juggernaut from second- to fourth-place.
“We got a lot of second-place qualifying efforts, which I mean isn’t the end of the world,” Logano said. “It’s just I really like winning and second kinda blows. But overall, we have a real good starting spot, we can see the track from there and we’ll go for it.”
Rookie Kyle Larson (193.050) will start fifth, followed by Kurt Busch (sixth, 193.043), Ryan Newman (seventh, 192.816), Tony Stewart (eighth, 192.548), Danica Patrick (ninth, 192.452) and Greg Biffle (10th, 191.980).
Also of note in the qualifying session:
* Rookie Ryan Blaney, making his first attempt to qualify for a Sprint Cup race, made the field in 21st place.
* Kansas native Clint Bowyer, still seeking his first career win on his “home track,” qualified a disappointing 23rd.
* While proud that his son made the field, sadly, dad Dave Blaney was the odd man out, the only driver to fail to make the 43-driver field for Saturday’s race.
Here’s the unofficial starting grid for Saturday’s 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway:
Row 1 Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano
Row 2 Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards
Row 3 Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch
Row 4 Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart
Row 5 Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle
Row 7 Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson
Row 11 Ryan Blaney, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Row 12 Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch
Row 22 Joe Nemecheck
Failed to qualify: Dave Blaney
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