For Kevin Harvick’s sake, he has to hope his No. 4 Ford passes inspection on the first time on Saturday morning. See, it took Harvick’s car four times to pass tech last weekend in Bristol. That sent him not only to the rear of the field for last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race but caused him to start on pit road and serve a penalty too.
This week, Harvick earned the pole for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 (7:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). It was his 27th of his career and second of the season.
But, the pole is unofficial until all 37 cars go through inspection prior to Saturday night’s race at the Richmond (VA) Raceway.
If Harvick passes on his first attempt, it will secure the top starting spot after qualifying on Friday evening with a speed of 124.298 mph.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver is winless in 2019 but he does have past success in Richmond. Harvick, finished fifth and second respectively in the two annual stops last season to go along with seven top 10 finishes in his last 10 overall tries.
Joining Harvick on the front row would be Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones. The Michigan native qualified his No. 20 Toyota with a lap of 124.081 mph.
Kurt Busch will start third in his No. 1 Chevrolet. Busch, qualified with a time of 123.870 mph. Joey Logano (123.672 mph) and Kyle Busch (123.598 mph) rounded out the top five.
Joe Gibbs Racing put three of their four cars in the top six of the starting lineup while Penske and SHR put a car in the top 3 Rows too giving the “Big 3” a great chance of winning under the lights on the .75 mile oval on Saturday.
Toyota Owners 400 Starting Lineup
Row 1: Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones
Row 2: Kurt Busch, Joey Logano
Row 3: Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr.
Row 4: Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon
Row 5: Daniel Suarez, Jimmie Johnson
Row 6: Chris Buescher, Brad Keselowski
Row 7: Paul Menard, Kyle Larson
Row 8: Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Row 9: Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin
Row 10: William Byron, Matt Tifft R
Row 11: Clint Bowyer, David Ragan
Row 12: Ryan Preece R, Daniel Hemric R
Row 13: Michael McDowell, Darrell Wallace Jr.
Row 14: Matt DiBenedetto, Corey LaJoie
Row 15: Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon
Row 16: Ryan Newman, Landon Cassill
Row 17: Bayley Currey, Jeb Burton
Row 18: Quin Houff, Joey Gase
Row 19: Ross Chastain