Kevin Harvick set a new track record in Round 2 of knockout qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 131.362 mph to win the pole for Saturday night's IRWIN Tools Night Race. It is Harvick's 11th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole and the fifth of his 2014 season. The old track record was 129.911 mph set in March by Denny Hamlin.
Harvick had won only six poles in 13 seasons driving for Richard Childress Racing but has already won five poles in 24 races since moving to Stewart-Haas racing in the offseason.
Jeff Gordon will start alongside Harvick on the front row. Gordon was fastest in Round 1 of qualifying. Carl Edwards will start third, Kyle Busch fourth, Jimmie Johnson fifth, Joey Logano sixth, Kurt Busch seventh, Greg Biffle eighth, Brad Keselowski ninth, Marcos Ambrose tenth, Ryan Newman 11th, and Kasey Kahne 12th.
Those 12 drivers advanced to Round 2 of knockout qualifying. Positions 13 to 43 were set with Round 1 speeds. There were only 43 cars at the track so every team made the race.
Denny Hamlin will start from 13th, Clint Bowyer 14th, Brian Vickers 15th, Matt Kenseth 16th, Paul Menard 17th, Jamie McMurray 18th, Justin Allgaier 19th, and Dale Earnhardt Jr 20th. Ricky Stenhouse Jr will start 21st, AJ Allmendinger 22nd, Martin Truex Jr 23rd, and Danica Patrick 24th. Jeff Burton will start 25th. He is replacing Tony Stewart.
Austin Dillon will start 26th, Alex Bowman 27th, Michael McDowell 28th, David Ragan 29th, and Josh Wise 30th. Brett Moffitt will start 31st, David Gilliland 32nd, Ryan Truex 33rd, Cole Whitt 34th, Dave Blaney 35th, and Reed Sorenson 36th, Taking provisionals were JJ Yeley in 37th, Michael Annett 38th, Landon Cassill 39th, Kyle Larson 40th, David Stremme 41st, Aric Almirola 42nd, and Casey Mears 43rd.
Kyle Larson hit the outside and inside wall early in Round 1 and did damage to the right rear and left front of his car. Cole Whitt backed into the wall doing damage to the rear of his car while Casey Mears also made contact into the wall. Aric Almirola also got into the wall and his team has pulled out a backup car.
The IRWIN Tools Night Race can be seen at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday night on ABC.
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