Call Kevin Harvick the new king of qualifying. On Friday Harvick put up a fast lap of 190.398 mph during the final round of knockout qualifying at the Atlanta Motor Speedway to earn his sixth pole of the season.
“You know the qualifying stuff has obviously been a major focus on what we’ve done,” said Harvick. “Obviously gives me a lot of confidence. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s not something I’ve done in my career. So I think that matches my whole career. So, I’m just proud of them.”
Harvick’s boss also looked strong in his first qualifying effort in nearly a month. Tony Stewart, who sat out the last three weeks after being involved in a deadly sprint car accident, advanced to the final round of qualifying and will start Sunday night’s race 12th.
“It is good to have Tony back,” said Harvick. “To be able to communicate and talk to him about racing and just see him start that first step of getting back to normal, as his friend, is exciting to me."
Kansas native Clint Bowyer was fast in the opening round of qualifying, posting the 7th quickest time. But he couldn’t find that same speed in round two. As a result the 15 car will start 21st at Atlanta.