Author: Reid Spencer
Date: Sept. 2, 2017
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Kevin Harvick ended Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series knockout qualifying session at Darlington Raceway with an excellent omen for Sunday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 (on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET).
Covering the 1.366-mile distance in 27.669 seconds (177.730 mph) in the final round, Harvick earned his second career pole at the Lady in Black. The first time Harvick was the top qualifier at Darlington was in 2014. He went on to win the Bojangles’ Southern 500. After that he won the series championship.
Last year, Harvick started first and finished second when the field was ordered according to owner points because of a qualifying rainout.
The Coors Light Pole Award was Harvick’s fourth of the season and the 21st of his career. It also represented a benchmark of progress the Stewart-Haas Racing organization has made in its transition from Chevrolet to Ford in 2017.
“I think, obviously, we’ve had a big gap of learning since we switched to Ford,” said Harvick, who swept all three rounds of qualifying in the No. 4 SHR Ford. “A lot of things have been different. We’ve had to do a lot of things different, and the work load’s been pretty heavy.
“I’m really proud of everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for everything that they’ve done. We just keep getting better and better. Hopefully, we can keep improving, and hopefully this is a sign of things to come on Sunday night.”
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