Kevin Harvick tops Erik Jones for Richmond Cup pole

Jim Utter

Harvick ended a streak of eight different pole winners to open the 2019 season by capturing the pole for Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond (Va.) Richmond.

of his career and comes.

Harvick, who led the Cup series with eight victories last year, is still looking for his first win of the season. His average lap speed of 124.298 mph topped Erik Jones (124.081 mph) in the final round.

“I’m just pretty proud of everybody on the No. 4 team and at Stewart-Haas Racing,” Harvick said. “Last week was a success from a speed standpoint. That was the first week we were able to have the speed to be able to win the race.

“We had a lot of things go wrong, but you’ll have those days. The most important thing was the speed. We did a great job today. I didn’t think it was a perfect lap from my standpoint, but I was to get in the throttle on the exit to the corner and put down a decent lap.

“You just have to go faster than everybody else.”

Kurt Busch ended up third, Joey Logano was fourth and Kyle Busch completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top 12 starters are Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Jimmie Johnson, Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski.

Round 2

Kyle Busch powered to the top of the leaderboard in the second five-minute session of qualifying.

Busch’s average lap speed of 124.769 mph topped Harvick (124.435 mph) and Jones (124.407 mph). Truex was fourth and Austin Dillon completed the top-five.

Also advancing to the final round were Logano, Kurt Busch, Elliott, Buescher, Suarez and Johnson.

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Among the others who failed to advance were Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and William Byron.

Round 1

Kurt Busch led the way in the first five-minute round of knockout qualifying, the first time he’s advanced out of the first round in three races.

Busch’s average lap speed of 125.815 mph topped Larson (125.517 mph) and Stenhouse (125.354 mph). Hamlin was fourth and Austin Dillon completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Harvick, Jones, Bowyer, Suarez and Truex.

Friday was the first time NASCAR has used three, five-minute rounds for qualifying.

Among those who failed to advance to the second round were Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace, Ty Dillon, Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell.

“Probably not a good thing to wait until the last car to go out on a green race track,” Blaney said over his radio following the first round.

Cla # Driver   Manufacturer Time Gap Mph
1 4 United States Kevin Harvick    Ford 21.722   124.298
2 20 United States Erik Jones    Toyota 21.760 0.038 124.081
3 1 United States Kurt Busch    Chevrolet 21.797 0.075 123.870
4 22 United States Joey Logano    Ford 21.832 0.110 123.672
5 18 United States Kyle Busch    Toyota 21.845 0.123 123.598
6 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.    Toyota 21.880 0.158 123.400
7 9 United States Chase Elliott    Chevrolet 21.924 0.202 123.153
8 3 United States Austin Dillon    Chevrolet 21.958 0.236 122.962
9 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez    Ford 22.021 0.299 122.610
10 48 United States Jimmie Johnson    Chevrolet 22.101 0.379 122.166
11 37 United States Chris Buescher    Chevrolet 22.106 0.384 122.139
12 2 United States Brad Keselowski    Ford 22.120 0.398 122.061
13 21 United States Paul Menard    Ford 21.848 0.126 123.581
14 42 United States Kyle Larson    Chevrolet 21.855 0.133 123.542
15 10 United States Aric Almirola    Ford 21.865 0.143 123.485
16 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.    Ford 21.871 0.149 123.451
17 88 United States Alex Bowman    Chevrolet 21.891 0.169 123.338
18 11 United States Denny Hamlin    Toyota 21.898 0.176 123.299
19 24 United States William Byron    Chevrolet 21.899 0.177 123.293
20 36 United States Matt Tifft    Ford 21.900 0.178 123.288
21 14 United States Clint Bowyer    Ford 21.925 0.203 123.147
22 38 United States David Ragan    Ford 21.934 0.212 123.097
23 47 United States Ryan Preece    Chevrolet 21.951 0.229 123.001
24 8 United States Daniel Hemric    Chevrolet 22.099 0.377 122.177
25 34 United States Michael McDowell    Ford 21.802 0.080 123.842
26 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.    Chevrolet 21.821 0.099 123.734
27 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto    Toyota 21.823 0.101 123.723
28 32 United States Corey Lajoie    Ford 21.843 0.121 123.609
29 12 United States Ryan Blaney    Ford 21.849 0.127 123.575
30 13 United States Ty Dillon    Chevrolet 21.873 0.151 123.440
31 6 United States Ryan Newman    Ford 21.898 0.176 123.299
32 00 United States Landon Cassill    Chevrolet 21.920 0.198 123.175
33 52 Bayley Currey    Ford 22.046 0.324 122.471
34 51 United States Jeb Burton    Chevrolet 22.211 0.489 121.561
35 77 United States Quin Houff    Chevrolet 22.384 0.662 120.622
36 66 United States Joey Gase    Toyota 22.652 0.930 119.195
37 15 United States Ross Chastain    Chevrolet