Race Weekend Central

Harvick Captures Toyota 400 Owners Pole

Kevin Harvick took the pole for Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 on Friday afternoon, edging out Erik Jones and Kurt Busch for the top spot.

Harvick commented on the qualifying format and any particular issues he had with it.

“Really just more congestion. I think when you come to a place like this, with everybody running three and four laps, it’s hard to get 40 cars going in the first round…you run into traffic and it becomes more congested than it probably needs to be.”

With rainclouds hanging over the D-oval, Harvick was faster than Jones, posting a 124.298 speed over three laps.

Jones, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five, with Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott just missing those positions.

Harvick’s first-place starting spot was his second of 2019, while Jones scored his first front-row start this season. Jimmie Johnson seemed mired in 12th during final-round qualifying, but was able to vault to 10th on his final circuit.

Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola all failed to advance out of the second round of qualifying, while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. used his final lap to search the track for grooves to run. Stenhouse also failed to make it to the final round.

Among the notable drivers that failed to advance out of the third round were Ryan Blaney and Ryan Newman. Meanwhile, Matt Tifft and Daniel Hemric managed to move on to second-round berths. Tifft was the fastest-qualifying rookie.

“I think I should’ve just stayed at my bus,” Newman said.

Ross Chastain, in the No. 15 Premium Motorsports entry, qualified 37th (last) after not running any laps.

The Toyota Owners 400 will kick off on Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.

About the author

Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.

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Bobby DK

Just finished watching the 2nd round of Masters golf and they’ve had more intrigue, suspense, and excitement than any race this year. How does that work? Good luck Kevin.

Bill B

So what was the reason for all the rounds being 5 minutes?
Was it punitive payback from NASCAR to the drivers/teams for not following the intent of the qualifying concept at the 1.5 mile tracks and in trying to draft turning into a joke? Sort of like, “if you are all going to sit at the end of pit road until the last 3 minutes then there is no reason for us to allocate 20 minutes to the first round”.
It sure seems that way to me. And if so, the drivers/teams got what they deserved.


How about taking one minute off the allotted time until a car goes out for each minute there’s no attempt to qualify? Once a car finishes his attempt the countdown starts again. If there’s a time lag between attempts the countdown continues until there is another attempt. The games might stop.

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