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Kevin Harvick wins pole for Coca-Cola 600; Kyle Larson starting from rear

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kevin Harvick will start on the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 after posting a top speed of 193.424 mph.

It is the 20th Cup pole of Harvick’s career and his third of this season. That is the second most for Harvick in a season following the eight he earned during his 2014 championship season.

“It was definitely breathtaking all three laps because it was so edgy to drive,” Harvick told Fox Sports 1. “All in all, I guess they say loose is fast. Just proud of my guys and that’s a good start to a long night.”

All three of Harvick’s poles have come at 1.5-mile tracks. At Atlanta, he led 292 laps and finished ninth after a pit penalty. At Texas, he led 77 laps and finished fourth.

Harvick also had the pole for last October’s race at Charlotte.

Following Harvick in the top five is Kyle Busch (192.513), Chase Elliott (192.260), Matt Kenseth (192.130) and Erik Jones (191.782).

Busch’s start is his best of the season. His previous best was third at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Erik Jones, a rookie, will also make his best start. His previous best was eighth at Phoenix Raceway.

In his final Coke 600 start, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 19th

Regan Smith, driving the No. 43 Ford for the injured Aric Almirola, will start 25th.

Kyle Larson climbs into his car as the No. 42 team scrambles to get him on track for a qualifying attempt (Photo by Dustin Long).

Teams continued to struggle with pre-qualifying inspection, but only two, points leader Kyle Larson and Corey LaJoie, were not able to make a qualifying attempt. Larson and his team scrambled to get the No. 42 Chevrolet on track in the final minute of the first round but it ended before Larson could make it.

“I guess it’ll be cooler to win from last than from the pole,” Larson told Fox Sports 1. Larson said he was more upset with himself for having made contact with the wall in Thursday’s practice session.

“It put us behind on getting to the tech line,” Larson said. “The machine wouldn’t work there late and probably cost us a minute, a minute and a half. Then we passed and we just didn’t have enough time to get out there.”

NASCAR told FS1 the laser inspection station was working properly, but that Larson’s team had improperly positioned his car, resulting in the delay in measurement.

“I won’t speak too much on it because I don’t know much about how that whole tech process works,” Larson said. “I know all the teams hate it. The teams point at NASCAR. NASCAR points at the teams. It’s confusing to me.”

But Larson isn’t concerned about having to start on the last row.

“It happened to us at Texas and we rebounded from that and finished second,” Larson said. “I’m not too worried about it.  I know the teams are frustrated with the tech process.  I know nothing about how it all works.  I don’t really have much to say about it other than I know my crew chief hates it.”

Click here for the full qualifying results.

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Today’s Cup race at Auto Club: Start time, lineup and more

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NASCAR’s West Coast swing comes to a close this afternoon with the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

Kevin Harvick will attempt to win his fourth consecutive race for the first time in his career. He has one win at the 2-mile speedway (2011).

Below is all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: The cast of the movie Super Troopers 2 will give the command to start engines at 3:37 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:47 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (400 miles) around the 2-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 10 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. Cassadee Pope will sing he National Anthem at 3:31 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race beginning at 3:30 p.m. Race coverage begins at 3 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2:30 p.m. and also can be heard at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: calls for a high of 61 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kyle Larson won this event last year. Brad Keselowski placed second and Clint Bowyer was third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup

Results, Xfinity point standings after Auto Club Speedway

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Joey Logano led 139 of 150 laps to win the Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 29th Xfinity win.

The Team Penske driver beat Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric.

Team Penske has won the last two Xfinity races.

Click here for results

Point Standings

With a top-10 finish in all five races so far, Elliott Sadler retains a four-point lead over teammate Tyler Reddick.

The top five is completed by Justin Allgaier (-5), Christopher Bell (-27) and Daniel Hemric (-30).

Click here for the full standings.

Joey Logano wins Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway

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Joey Logano led all but 11 laps on his way to winning Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway.

The Team Penske driver led the final eight laps to secure the victory in the Roseanne 300, the team’s first at the 2-mile track in the series.

Logano beat Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric.

“Total team effort there,” Logano told Fox Sports 1. “Great pit stops, great car, oh my gosh. It’s one of those races that you feel relieved when you win. … Man, you’re supposed to win when you have a car that fast.”

Logano led 139 of 150 laps. He took the lead for the first time on Lap 5. He didn’t relinquish it until he was the only leader to pit on Lap 122 during a debris caution.

He restarted 16th and was back in the lead within four laps.

Logano was the only one to pit because on the previous caution he was the only leader who stayed out. He managed to retain the lead.

“I did not opt to do that, (crew chief) Brian (Wilson) opted to do that,” Logano said. “It ended up working out. I thought we were going to lose more track position than we did. … Just shows how fast our car was.”

It’s the second consecutive win for Team Penske after Brad Keselowski won last week at ISM Raceway.

The win, Logano’s 29th, is his first in the Xfinity Series since the March 2017 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Joey Logano

STAGE 2 WINNER: Joey Logano

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Austin Dillon finished fourth after starting 19th … Daniel Hemric finished fifth for his best finish of the season … Ross Chastain finished 10th for his ninth top 10 and just his third on a non-restrictor plate track.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Matt Mills brought out the first caution on Lap 33 after getting into the Turn 2 wall … John Hunter Nemechek lost his right front tire on Lap 70. It caused significant damage to his No. 42 Chevrolet. He finished 29th … Pole-sitter Christopher Bell spun on Lap 97 into the frontstretch grass … On Lap 104, Bell was involved in a crash with Michael Annett on the frontstretch when Annett came up the track and forced him into the wall. Bell finished 21st … After starting in the top 12, Kaz Grala wrecked coming to the checkered flag while racing with Ryan Truex and Brandon Jones. He finished 14th.

NOTABLE: Team Penske is now winless at three active tracks in the Xfinity Series … Joey Logano joins Jack Ingram as the second driver to finish in the top seven in his first 10 starts at a track (Ingram did it at three different tracks).

POST-RACE INSPECTION: Ryan Preece‘s No. 18 Toyota had one unsecured lug nut.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “When you have a car that’s that strong and a driver that’s this good, sometimes he has to dig you out of some holes.” – Brian Wilson, crew chief for Joey Logano.

WHAT’S NEXT: My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on April 7 on Fox


Kyle Busch tops final Cup practice at Auto Club Speedway

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Kyle Busch was fastest in the final Cup practice for Sunday’s race at Auto Cub Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver posted a top speed of 185.668 mph.

Busch was followed by the pole-sitter for race, Martin Truex Jr. (185.319).

“We feel OK about it, obviously I’d like to feel a titch better,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “We kind of slowed up a little bit as the practice went along. I know everybody did but it felt like a couple of guys got closer to us as it went along. We were really good firing off there.”

The top five was completed by Jimmie Johnson (184.525), Kevin Harvick (184.308) and Brad Keselowski (184.280).

Harvick, fastest in the first two practice sessions for the Auto Club 400, will seek his fourth consecutive Cup win tomorrow. He had the best 10-lap average at 180.161 mph.

Busch recorded the most laps in the session with 45.

There were no accidents in the session. Kyle Larson did cut a tire, but his No. 42 Chevrolet was not damaged.

Click here for the final practice report.