Kevin Harvick turned the fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway, and will sit on the pole for the first time since the 2006 season.
Harvick, who is tied for fourth in points, negotiated brutal crosswinds entering Turn 3 that ruined several good qualifying runs to post a lap of 187.526 mph on Friday. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second-fastest at 187.480 mph, followed by Jimmie Johnson with a lap of 187.162 mph.
Harvick was fastest in practice earlier in the day, and his first pole since Sept. 17, 2006, gives him the first pit stall for Sunday's race. That could prove especially important at a place where track position is of the utmost importance.
Points leader Matt Kenseth qualified seventh.
Kansas native Clint Bowyer had a tough qualifying run and will start 22nd.
""We've always just grown accustom to running well here and I don't know -- we're off quite a bit and we've got a lot of work to do," said Bowyer. "Qualifying is just a small part of what the final outcome is, so we've definitely got our work cut out for us."
Jamie McMurray will start 24th in a car sponsored by Wichita based Cessna.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun