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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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NASCAR America: Elliott Sadler having fun mentoring William Byron

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If there’s anyone in the Xfinity Series William Byron should turn to for advice during his rookie season in the series, it’s Elliott Sadler.

A veteran of more than 800 NASCAR races across all three of its national series, Sadler has taken the lead in advising the 19-year-old driver this season. During his appearance on NASCAR America, Sadler praised the driver and the time he’s spent with him.

“That kid is special,” Sadler said. “I want to be that guy (that helps), because I had that guy. I had Jeff Green when I started, I had Dale Jarrett, people I could lean on all the time that could help the learning curve.”

Sadler leads the points standings with four races left in the regular season, but he is winless so far. Byron has earned three wins and is second in points behind Sadler.

“He’s a student of the game,” Sadler said. “I’ve been in meetings with young kids that come along, we’ve been in the meeting and kids are still playing on their phones. I’m in a meeting with William … and he’s still learning and taking notes. He’s got great questions. We’re usually sitting beside each other on the airplanes and we’re talking about things for that particular weekend. I can’t help him drive the car faster. But I can help him maybe with restarts and getting on pit road. Maybe things to think about on Friday to maybe make your car better for Saturday.”

Watch the video for more from Sadler on Byron and his friendship with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR America: Elliott Sadler paying tribute to Cale Yarborough with Darlington paint scheme

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Xfinity Series points leader Elliott Sadler will honor childhood racing hero Cale Yarborough with his paint scheme for the Sept. 2 race at Darlington Raceway.

Cale Yarborough poses with his Hardee’s car during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Exhibit Unveiling at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on January 22, 2012. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The JR Motorsports driver revealed the paint scheme Tuesday on NASCAR America. His No. 1 Chevrolet will have the same color blocking, but not colors, of Yarborough’s famous No. 28 Hardee’s car.

Sadler is not the only driver that will have some form of the Hardee’s paint scheme at Darlington. Dakoda Armstrong, driver of JGL Racing’s No. 28, will have the exact colors of the Hardee’s car and a logo on the hood commemorating Yarborough.

A five-time winner at Darlington and a three-time Cup champion, Yarborough is a native of Timmonsville, South Carolina, which is roughly 20 miles from Darlington.

Watch the video for the full reveal of the car.

Former Truck Series driver Shane Sieg dies at 34

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Shane Sieg, a former Camping World Truck Series driver and older brother of Xfinity driver Ryan Sieg, died over the weekend at the age of 34.

Ryan Sieg Racing announced his passing Tuesday on social media. He would have turned 35 on Wednesday. A team spokesperson could not provide additional details.

“Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers,” the team said on Twitter. “We lost a great driver and an incredible person. Forever in our hearts.”

A native of Tucker, Georgia, Shane Sieg was a veteran of 68 Truck Series races and two Xfinity starts.

He earned three tops 10 in the Truck Series. His best result was eighth at the Milwaukee Mile in 2004. Sieg also won one race in the NASCAR Southeast Series in 2003 at Huntsville Speedway in Alabama.

Sieg made his last Truck start in June 2011 at Pocono Raceway.

Sieg was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR in August 2011 for violating its substance abuse policy and for actions detrimental to the sport.

Ryan Reed honors Alan Kulwicki, Sam Bass with Darlington paint scheme

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Roush Fenway Racing and artist Sam Bass have worked together to create Ryan Reed‘s throwback paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN.

Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford will resemble the No. 7 Zerex Ford driven by Alan Kulwicki in 1989.

Kulwicki was sponsored by Zerex from 1987-90, earning two of his five Cup wins in that time.

“My dad was huge fan of Alan and had a lot of respect for him, so it’s awesome to get to run this throwback scheme in Darlington,” Reed said in a press release. “My Dad ran his own race team and drove for himself throughout the 90s, just like Alan. Alan overcame a lot of challenges to become a champion and I can’t help but have a lot of respect for him.”

Bass, who lives with type 1 diabetes like Reed, worked with Kulwicki during his career and helped design Reed’s car. In a Facebook Live video, Bass said he took extra care to make the one in Reed’s No. 16 resemble Kulwicki’s No. 7.

Bass’ name will also be on the passenger-side nameplate on the roof of Reed’s car.

Reed’s car won’t be the only one at Darlington that will pay tribute to the 1992 Cup champion.

Michael McDowell‘s No. 95 Chevrolet in the Cup Series will resemble the car Kulwicki drove in his 1986 rookie year.