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.
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.
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