NASCAR Darlington 2014 qualifying results: Kevin Harvick tames Lady in Black, wins Darlington pole

Jeff Zelevansky

Kevin Harvick was fastest when it counted the most, claiming the pole for Saturday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

With his car late getting through technical inspection, Kevin Harvick didn't even know if he was going to make it on the track for qualifying Friday at Darlington Raceway.

NASCAR officials eventually cleared the No. 4 Chevrolet, and Harvick made the most of his opportunity winning the pole-position for Saturday's Southern 500.

Not regarded as an ace qualifier, Harvick's speed of 183.479 mph bettered that of second-place Joey Logano (183.049 mph). Darlington was just the seventh pole in 474 career starts for Harvick and just his second in the previous eight years. Logano, who won Monday at Texas Motor Speedway, continued his streak of advancing to the final group of every qualifying session this year.

"I'm not the world's greatest qualifier, so you know when I qualify that good that the car is pretty good," Harvick said.

Teammates Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose continued Richard Petty Motorsports' early-season upswing by qualifying third and fourth, respectively. Almirola (184.145) eclipsed Kurt Busch's year-old track record in Round 2, but couldn't backup the time in the third and final session.

Brad Keselowski starts fifth, the sixth time in eight races he has qualified fifth or better this season. Rounding out the remainder of the top-10: Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, series points leader Jeff Gordon, and Denny Hamlin.

The big surprise was who did not make it out of the opening round, as neither Matt Kenseth nor Jimmie Johnson advanced. Kenseth, who won the Southern 500 a year ago, posted the 25th-fastest time, while Johnson will start 26th. Both enter the weekend looking for their first victory of 2014.

"I'm just disappointed we didn't get a better lap," Johnson said. "We've been working hard to get speed in the car today and have just been a little short on that."

David Reuitmann was the only driver who failed to qualify.

Bojangle's Southern 500 starting lineup

Position Driver Manufacturer Speed
1 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 183.479
2 Joey Logano Ford 183.049
3 Aric Almirola Ford 182.946
4 Marcos Ambrose Ford 182.485
5 Brad Keselowski Ford 182.059
6 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 182.019
7 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 181.985
8 Kyle Busch Toyota 181.763
9 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 181.756
10 Denny Hamlin Toyota 181.548
11 Paul Menard Chevrolet 181.481
12 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 181.200
13 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 182.181
14 Brian Vickers Toyota 181.985
15 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 181.689
16 Clint Bowyer Toyota 181.247
17 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 181.194
18 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 181.127
19 Greg Biffle Ford 180.947
20 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 180.914
21 Carl Edwards Ford 180.901
22 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 180.787
23 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 180.185
24 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 178.958
25 Matt Kenseth Toyota 182.059
26 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 181.911
27 David Gilliland Ford 181.548
28 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 181.394
29 Josh Wise Chevrolet 180.549
30 Michael Annett Chevrolet 180.330
31 Casey Mears Chevrolet 180.310
32 David Ragan Ford 180.204
33 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 180.158
34 Alex Bowman Toyota 179.993
35 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 179.717
36 Dave Blaney Ford 179.606
37 David Stremme Chevrolet 179.024
38 Parker Kligerman Toyota 178.543
39 Ryan Truex Toyota 178.400
40 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 177.961
41 Travis Kvapil Ford 177.768
42 Cole Whitt Toyota 177.659
43 Joe Nemechek Toyota 177.166

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