Harvick Shrugs Off Penalty and Wins Phoenix Pole

AVONDALE, AZ – RIS – Kevin Harvick came to ISM Speedway this weekend without his championship-winning crew chief and car chief but shrugged it off and won the pole for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Phoenix.

Harvick turned a lap at 139.340 mph Friday around ISM Raceway outside Phoenix to put himself in position to requalify for the championship. His winning car from last week was found to have an illegal spoiler and the punishment cost him his automatic berth into the final four.

Needing a trouble-free run at ISM Raceway outside Phoenix to get back into the finale, Harvick put his No. 4 Ford in the top starting spot.

"It's more about people than it is about cars and we've got a lot of good people," Harvick said. "You can't drive a slow car fast and you can't beat good people."

Harvick is working this weekend with an interim crew chief and car chief because his have been suspended for the final two races of the season. Rodney Childers, the regular crew chief, watched qualifying on television in North Carolina and tweeted a simple reaction to Harvick's qualifying run: "Boom," Childers wrote.

Harvick is a nine-time winner at Phoenix, most recently in March. He also won at Phoenix in 2014 when a victory was the only thing that would put him in the playoffs.

"I don't build the cars. I couldn't tell you what's on the car. What's good, what's bad," Harvick said. "That's their job and I drive it. I show up and do the best that I can and obviously you've seen the statements and the things from Stewart-Haas Racing and the best thing that shows up are results on the race track. I drive and try to do the best that I can and we go from there."

Chase Elliott, a playoff contender, qualified second and was followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman, none of who are racing for the three remaining spots in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Only Joey Logano is already locked into Homestead and he qualified ninth.

The rest of the playoff drivers are spread throughout the field. Kyle Busch qualified sixth, reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. was 13th and followed by Kurt Busch. Clint Bowyer qualified 15th and Aric Almirola was 18th, lowest of the playoff drivers.

 Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed Lap # # Laps -Fastest -Next
Qualifying Round: 3
1 4 Kevin Harvick (P) Busch Light Ford 25.836 139.340 1 2 0.000 0.000
2 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 25.871 139.152 2 2 0.035 0.035
3 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Ford 25.898 139.007 2 2 0.062 0.027
4 12 Ryan Blaney PPG Ford 25.924 138.867 1 2 0.088 0.026
5 88 Alex Bowman Axalta Chevrolet 25.948 138.739 2 3 0.112 0.024
6 18 Kyle Busch (P) M&M's Toyota 25.954 138.707 1 3 0.118 0.006
7 20 Erik Jones Sirius XM Toyota 26.022 138.344 3 3 0.186 0.068
8 42 Kyle Larson DC Solar Chevrolet 26.038 138.259 1 3 0.202 0.016
9 22 Joey Logano (P) Shell Pennzoil Ford 26.039 138.254 2 3 0.203 0.001
10 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 26.040 138.249 1 3 0.204 0.001
11 21 Paul Menard Menards/Cardell Ford 26.108 137.889 1 3 0.272 0.068
12 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Holiday Knitwear Ford 26.150 137.667 2 3 0.314 0.042
Qualifying Round: 2
1 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 25.823 139.411 2 2 0.000 0.000
2 42 Kyle Larson DC Solar Chevrolet 25.887 139.066 2 2 0.064 0.064
3 18 Kyle Busch (P) M&M's Toyota 25.889 139.055 1 1 0.066 0.002
4 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 25.926 138.857 1 1 0.103 0.037
5 21 Paul Menard Menards/Cardell Ford 25.958 138.686 1 1 0.135 0.032
6 88 Alex Bowman Axalta Chevrolet 25.979 138.573 2 2 0.156 0.021
7 20 Erik Jones Sirius XM Toyota 25.981 138.563 2 2 0.158 0.002
8 4 Kevin Harvick (P) Busch Light Ford 25.998 138.472 2 2 0.175 0.017
9 12 Ryan Blaney PPG Ford 26.011 138.403 2 2 0.188 0.013
10 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Ford 26.017 138.371 2 2 0.194 0.006
11 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Holiday Knitwear Ford 26.019 138.360 4 4 0.196 0.002
12 22 Joey Logano (P) Shell Pennzoil Ford 26.020 138.355 2 2 0.197 0.001
13 78 Martin Truex Jr. (P) Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota 26.023 138.339 2 4 0.200 0.003
14 41 Kurt Busch (P) Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford 26.053 138.180 1 5 0.230 0.030
15 3 Austin Dillon American Ethanol e15 Chevrolet 26.074 138.069 2 3 0.251 0.021
16 14 Clint Bowyer (P) ITsavvy Ford 26.110 137.878 1 5 0.287 0.036
17 6 Matt Kenseth Wyndham Rewards Ford 26.131 137.767 1 5 0.308 0.021
18 10 Aric Almirola (P) Smithfield Ford 26.140 137.720 4 5 0.317 0.009
19 24 William Byron # Hertz Chevrolet 26.162 137.604 2 6 0.339 0.022
20 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Power of Pride Chevrolet 26.174 137.541 2 3 0.351 0.012
21 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 26.176 137.531 5 6 0.353 0.002
22 31 Ryan Newman Cat Global Mining Chevrolet 26.212 137.342 2 2 0.389 0.036
23 34 Michael McDowell Love's/Luber Finer Ford 26.313 136.815 2 3 0.490 0.101
24 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 26.368 136.529 1 2 0.545 0.055
*Required to qualify on time, OP - Top 30 in Owner Points, PC - Past Champion,(i)Ineligible for driver points in this series
Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed Lap # # Laps -Fastest -Next
Qualifying Round: 1
1 6 Matt Kenseth Wyndham Rewards Ford 26.028 138.313 2 2 0.000 0.000
2 3 Austin Dillon American Ethanol e15 Chevrolet 26.099 137.936 2 2 0.071 0.071
3 4 Kevin Harvick (P) Busch Light Ford 26.158 137.625 1 1 0.130 0.059
4 41 Kurt Busch (P) Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford 26.174 137.541 2 2 0.146 0.016
5 18 Kyle Busch (P) M&M's Toyota 26.176 137.531 1 1 0.148 0.002
6 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Ford 26.176 137.531 2 2 0.148 0.000
7 22 Joey Logano (P) Shell Pennzoil Ford 26.183 137.494 1 1 0.155 0.007
8 24 William Byron # Hertz Chevrolet 26.195 137.431 2 2 0.167 0.012
9 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Holiday Knitwear Ford 26.199 137.410 3 3 0.171 0.004
10 20 Erik Jones Sirius XM Toyota 26.201 137.399 1 1 0.173 0.002
11 42 Kyle Larson DC Solar Chevrolet 26.226 137.268 1 1 0.198 0.025
12 21 Paul Menard Menards/Cardell Ford 26.228 137.258 2 2 0.200 0.002
13 34 Michael McDowell Love's/Luber Finer Ford 26.231 137.242 2 2 0.203 0.003
14 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 26.232 137.237 2 2 0.204 0.001
15 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Power of Pride Chevrolet 26.234 137.226 2 2 0.206 0.002
16 14 Clint Bowyer (P) ITsavvy Ford 26.244 137.174 2 2 0.216 0.010
17 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 26.253 137.127 2 2 0.225 0.009
18 31 Ryan Newman Cat Global Mining Chevrolet 26.255 137.117 4 4 0.227 0.002
19 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 26.257 137.106 1 1 0.229 0.002
20 10 Aric Almirola (P) Smithfield Ford 26.282 136.976 2 2 0.254 0.025
21 78 Martin Truex Jr. (P) Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota 26.290 136.934 1 1 0.262 0.008
22 12 Ryan Blaney PPG Ford 26.317 136.794 2 2 0.289 0.027
23 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 26.321 136.773 4 4 0.293 0.004
24 88 Alex Bowman Axalta Chevrolet 26.335 136.700 2 2 0.307 0.014
25 37 Chris Buescher Gain Chevrolet 26.342 136.664 2 2 0.314 0.007
26 19 Daniel Suarez STANLEY Toyota 26.368 136.529 1 1 0.340 0.026
27 32 Matt DiBenedetto Can-Am/Wholey Ford 26.487 135.916 4 4 0.459 0.119
28 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Military Chevrolet 26.516 135.767 6 6 0.488 0.029
29 95 Regan Smith Procore Chevrolet 26.539 135.649 3 5 0.511 0.023
30 43 Bubba Wallace # U.S. Air Force Chevrolet 26.560 135.542 5 5 0.532 0.021
31 38 David Ragan Trident Seafoods Wild Alaska Pollock Ford 26.614 135.267 1 2 0.586 0.054
32 00 Landon Cassill(i) StarCom Fiber Chevrolet 26.834 134.158 2 2 0.806 0.220
33 15 Ross Chastain(i) Ternio Chevrolet 26.970 133.482 2 3 0.942 0.136
34 72 Cole Whitt Standard Plumbing Supply Chevrolet 27.001 133.328 2 4 0.973 0.031
35 23 JJ Yeley(i) She Beverage Company Toyota 27.010 133.284 3 4 0.982 0.009
36 97 * Tanner Berryhill Toyota 27.231 132.202 3 3 1.203 0.221
37 66 * Timmy Hill(i) Rewards.com Toyota 27.457 131.114 3 3 1.429 0.226
38 7 * DJ Kennington(i) APC/Northern Provincial Pipelines Chevrolet 27.666 130.124 2 2 1.638 0.209
39 51 Cody Ware JacobCo/BanyanCayGolfClub&Resort Chev 0.000 0.000 0 0 ----- -----
*Required to qualify on time, OP - Top 30 in Owner Points, PC - Past Champion,(i)Ineligible for driver points in this series

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2018, Issue 11, Posted 1:27 AM, 11.10.2018