NASCAR Michigan 2014 qualifying results: Kevin Harvick posts record speed, captures pole

Patrick Smith

The fastest NASCAR lap in 27 years gave Kevin Harvick the pole in Sprint Cup qualifying Friday.

Everyone knew speeds would be exceedingly fast in Sprint Cup qualifying at Michigan International Speedway, the only question was just how fast.

That answer came in the form of Kevin Harvick posting the quickest time in 27 years Friday. Harvick's lap of 204.557 miles per hour gave him the pole for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400, and was the fastest speed in NASCAR history a non-restrictor-plate track.

The all-time single-lap record is 212.809 mph at Talladega Superspeedway in 1987 -- the race before NASCAR mandated restrictor-plates at Talladega and its sister track, Daytona International Speedway.

"You just have to relax and really pay attention to not overdrive it because it's so easy to miss your line on the entry to the corner," Harvick said.

The pole was Harvick's third of 2014 and the ninth of his career. He is in his first season driving for Stewart-Haas Racing after 13 years with Richard Childress Racing.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified second and third, giving Chevrolet a sweep of the top three positions at the two-mile oval that was recently repaved. Harvick, Gordon and Earnhardt are all powered by Hendrick-built engines.

Aric Almirola and Paul Menard completed the top-five qualifiers.

"You've got to take your hat off to Harvick and those guys," Gordon said. "They are just superfast, especially when it comes to qualifying. We gave it a great effort but not quite enough to get those guys."

Gordon enters Michigan as the series points leader, while Earnhardt is coming off a win last week at Pocono Raceway. Earnhardt, with two career victories at Michigan, has never won consecutive races in his career.

"We're making some good gains on how we need to adjust the car to find the balance we need as continue to cycle the tires each qualifying run," Earnhardt said. "That is something we really needed to improve our qualifying efforts. The car has real good speed. The car is pretty comfortable."

Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson will start six through 12.

Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch, who were involved in a wreck at Pocono, qualified 13th and 14th, respectively. They will share Row 7 Sunday.

Rookie Ryan Truex was the only driver who failed to qualify.

Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan starting lineup
Position Driver Make Speed
1 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 204.557
2 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 203.776
3 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet 203.729
4 Aric Almirola Ford 203.200
5 Paul Menard Chevrolet 203.040
6 Brad Keselowski Ford 202.908
7 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 202.401
8 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 202.043
9 Joey Logano Ford 202.032
10 Brian Vickers Toyota 201.331
11 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 200.490
12 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 201.117
13 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 200.876
14 Kyle Busch Toyota 200.842
15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 200.831
16 Martin Truex, Jr. Chevrolet 200.820
17 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 200.730
18 Greg Biffle Ford 200.518
19 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 200.457
20 Marcos Ambrose Ford 200.128
21 Matt Kenseth Toyota 199.967
22 Carl Edwards Ford 199.534
23 Trevor Bayne Ford 199.518
24 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 199.165
25 A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 200.837
26 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 200.457
27 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 200.451
28 Juan Pablo Montoya Ford 200.217
29 Denny Hamlin Toyota 199.933
30 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Ford 199.750
31 Casey Mears Chevrolet 199.617
32 David Gilliland Ford 198.593
33 David Ragan Ford 198.571
34 Brett Moffitt Toyota 198.347
35 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 197.900
36 David Stremme Chevrolet 197.666
37 Michael Annett Chevrolet 197.390
38 Josh Wise Chevrolet 196.969
39 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 196.566
40 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 196.266
41 Alex Bowman Toyota 195.434
42 Cole Whitt Toyota 195.127
43 Travis Kvapil Ford 194.963

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