Kevin Harvick won the pole for Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. It will be the third time he’s started from the pole at the track “Too Tough to Tame.”
Harvick won from the pole in 2014 and finished second last year after starting from the pole. Qualifying in 2016 was canceled due to rain from a hurricane and doesn’t count as an official pole for him.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver claimed the top spot with a speed of 177.730 mph. He will be joined on the front row by Martin Truex Jr. (177.077 mph).
“I thought I had I given some (time) up the second round through (Turns) 3 and 4, that seemed to be our strong corner,” Harvick told NBCSN. “I knew if I could just not get it into the corner in the wrong spot that I had a little bit to get there.”
The pole is Harvick’s 21st in the Cup Series and his fourth of the season.
“This has been a really good race track for us,” Harvick said. “We’ve obviously had a big gap of learning since we switched to Ford. A lot of things have been different. We’ve had to do a lot of things different and our workload has been pretty heavy. Really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing for everything that they’ve done.”
Truex made his best qualifying effort at Darlington. His previous best was fifth in 2013.
Larson had not qualified better than 16th in his first three Southern 500 starts.
All four Hendrick Motorsports cars will start outside the top 15.
Danica Patrick will start 33rd.