Sprint Cup qualifying canceled by storms at Kentucky; Kevin Harvick will start first

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SPARTA, Ky. — Storms washed out Sprint Cup qualifying Friday at Kentucky Speedway, where owner points were used to set the field for the Quaker State 400.

By virtue of a new rule announced last month by NASCAR, Kevin Harvick will start first in Saturday’s 267-lap race. Brad Keselowski, who won last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, will start second.

Jimmie Johnson will start ninth despite being in a backup No. 48 Chevrolet because of a crash in practice. The six-time series champion retained the starting position by making laps in practice after qualifying was canceled.

As of 1:30 p.m., it still was raining the newly repaved 1.5-mile oval. Once the track is dry, NASCAR officials announced that Sprint Cup cars would practice until 4:25 p.m., followed by Xfinity qualifying at 4:45 p.m. and a final Sprint Cup practice from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

This is the third time qualifying has been canceled in six Sprint Cup races at Kentucky, including last year. Kyle Busch won the 2015 race as well as the 2011 inaugural event when qualifying also was scrubbed.

Cup lineup