Stewart-Haas Racing - 2016 Fontana Qualifying
Event: Auto Club 400 Qualifying (Round 5 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (2-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (38.200 seconds at 188.482 mph)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 38.231 seconds at 188.329 mph on the 2-mile oval in the final qualifying round.
Qualifying consisted of three rounds. The first was 20 minutes, with every driver on the track vying to set the fastest lap. The 24 fastest drivers from the first round advanced to the second, 10-minute round and the fastest 12 drivers from that session advanced to the final, five-minute round where they battled for the pole. Positions 1-12 were set by speeds in the final round. Positions 13-24 were set by speeds in the second round. The remaining 39-car field was set by speeds posted by those who did not advance past the first round.
Brian Vickers, interim driver of the No. 14 Janssen/Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 24th with a time of 38.797 seconds at 185.581 mph.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 26th with a time of 38.690 seconds at 186.095 mph.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 TaxAct Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 31st with a time of 38.898 seconds at 185.099 mph.
Austin Dillon led the final round of knockout qualifying by taking the pole with a lap of 38.200 seconds at 188.482 mph. It was his second career Sprint Cup pole, his first of the season and his first at Fontana.
Harvick will start on the outside of row one. It’s his second front row start at Fontana.
Denny Hamlin qualified third for Sunday’s race, but set a new track record when he recorded a lap of 38.194 seconds at 188.511 mph in the second round of qualifying. It beat the mark of 38.248 seconds at 188.425 mph set by Kyle Busch in February 2005.
The nine other drivers who made it to the final round of qualifying were Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Trevor Bayne, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, A.J. Allmendinger and Kasey Kahne. All are listed in the order they’ll start Sunday’s race.
The Auto Club 400 gets underway at 3:30 p.m. EDT Sunday with live coverage provided by FOX.