Jul 26, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS – Kevin Harvick set a new Indianapolis Motor Speedway track speed record in a stock car on Saturday, earning the pole for Sunday’s Brickyard 400.
Harvick was the only driver to exceed 188 mph, recording a freaky fast mark of 188.470 mph. He finds himself in the same spot he was in the 2003 Brickyard, earning the pole and eventually winning the race.
Harvick has now won four poles in the first 20 races this season.
“They’ve turned me into a halfway-good qualifier with fast race cars,” Harvick told ESPN with a laugh. “To have the first pit stall, your problems will be a less starting from the front.”
Four-time Brickyard winner and current Sprint Cup points leader Jeff Gordon qualified second with a speed of 187.770 mph and will start on the outside of the front row Sunday.
“I know we weren’t as good as Kevin today,” Gordon said. “But to have that awesome of a day and to be that close … to be on that front row 20 years after the first one, I get excited, what can I say?”
Chevrolet is going for its 12th consecutive win at the 2.5-mile oval. It’s certainly in good shape with six Chevy-powered drivers in the top 10.
But Chevy will have a strong challenge from Ford, particularly those of Penske Racing, which placed three drivers in the top-9: Brad Keselowski will start third, Juan Pablo-Montoya starts eighth and Joey Logano ninth.
Only one Toyota-powered driver qualified in the top-10, Brian Vickers.
Four-time Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson, who is being picked by many as the favorite to win Sunday, qualified 11th.
“Decent performance, of course we’d like to be better, but at least we can see the front from there,” Johnson said.
Also having a decent qualifying run was Danica Patrick, who will start 14th.
Making only his third start of the 2014 season, Bobby Labonte made the field not on speed but on a past provisional, having been a former Brickyard 400 champion back in 2000.
Also, Aric Almirola will start near the back of the field due to going to a back-up car after hitting the wall during practice.
Here’s the starting grid for the 21st annual Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
Row 1: Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon
Row 2: Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman
Row 3: Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart
Row 5: Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne
Row 6: Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch
Row 7: Matt Kenseth, Danica Patrick
Row 21: Aric Almirola, Reed Sorenson
Row 22: Bobby Labonte
Did not qualify: Brett Moffitt, David Stremme, Matt Crafton
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
May 30, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT
Sainz and Verstappen ready for their first races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
May 30, 2015, 2:09 PM EDT
How Indianapolis 500 champions have done in their next race since 2000.
WATCH LIVE: Eli Tomac goes for third straight Pro Motocross win at Thunder Valley (2 p.m. ET, Live Extra)
May 30, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT
Live coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with the pre-race show and continues at 3 p.m. ET with all four motos.
May 30, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
The Japanese driver will return to the wheel of the Toyota LMP1 car on Sunday.
May 30, 2015, 12:56 PM EDT
The days following Montoya’s second Indianapolis 500 were both “really cool” and “hell” at once.
May 30, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT
He may sit bottom of the drivers’ championship, but Maldonado remains upbeat ahead of next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
May 30, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
He may only be 17, but Max can still give his father a scare behind the wheel of a road car.
May 30, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
We caught up with a few of the GRC Lites drivers before their season kicks off.
May 30, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT
Force India team owner claims F1 has become too democratic in letting some of the teams have a say.
May 29, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
Frenchman hopes to bounce back in Canada next weekend after finishing outside of the points in Monaco.
May 29, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT
Will Power and Helio Castroneves complete the front row for first of two IndyCar races in Detroit.
May 29, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT
Sainz went on to finish the race in tenth place, but it all very nearly ended far earlier in Monaco last Sunday.
May 29, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
GT racer returns after making his Formula E debut in Uruguay at the end of 2014.
May 29, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT
Brembo busy with IndyCar, TUDOR and World Challenge this weekend.
May 29, 2015, 12:48 PM EDT
Kanaan leads the way in the T-Swift mobile.
May 29, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Fernando Alonso’s manager confident the Spaniard was right to leave Ferrari and join McLaren for 2015.
May 29, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Ecclestone has given the race promoters two months to make a decision on whether to revive the Indian Grand Prix or not.
May 29, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT
What’s next for Joni Wiman, the defending Red Bull Global Rallycross champion?
May 29, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT
Ricciardo announced himself on F1’s big stage in Canada last year with the first of three victories in 2014.
- The week that was for Juan Pablo Montoya 0
- Power wins Verizon P1 Award in Detroit with new track record 1
- Preview: Detroit’s doubleheader a crucial weekend for IndyCar championship 0
- ARCA: From welder to race car driver, Sarah Cornett-Ching continues her building prowess 2
- Taylor Swift to be featured on Tony Kanaan’s IndyCar in Detroit; will she make it to track? 7
- Surprises, struggles: NHRA at one-third mark of ’15 season 5
- FIA seeking new teams for Formula 1 in 2016 and 2017 8