NASCAR at Richmond 2018 Qualifying Results: Kevin Harvick Wins Pole

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2018

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's New 9-Grain Wheat Sub Ford, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on September 21, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Kevin Harvick won the pole for the 2018 Federated Auto Parts 400 by posting the fastest time during qualifying at Richmond Raceway on Friday. 

Along with Harvick, Denny Hamlin will also start up front on Saturday night after being edged out by 0.006 seconds. Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez round out the top five.

Below is a look at the qualifying action from Richmond Raceway.

   

2018 Federated Auto Parts 400 Qualifying Results

1. Kevin Harvick (22.153)

2. Denny Hamlin (22.159)

3. Martin Truex Jr. (22.217)

4. Ryan Blaney (22.241)

5. Daniel Suarez (22.244)

6. Kurt Busch (22.267)

7. Aric Almirola (22.320)

8. Brad Keselowski (22.342)

9. Erik Jones (22.342)

10. Kyle Larson (22.347)

Full results can be viewed on NASCAR's official website

   

Recap

By just about the narrowest of margins, Harvick was able to eke out the pole over Hamlin.

It marks Harvick's 24th career pole, third of the season and his second at Richmond. His last pole on the track came back in 2005 for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. Also of note, he captured victory at the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond Raceway in 2011.

Afterward, he called winning the pole a "surprise bonus," per NASCAR on NBC:

Starting in first will put Harvick in solid positioning to bounce back from a 39th-place finish in Las Vegas last weekend. Prior to that, though, the No. 4 car had recorded eight consecutive top-10 results, including a pair of victories.

Harvick, who has seven victories on the season, currently sits fourth in the points standings.

Meanwhile, NASCAR's points leader will start Saturday's race in third, finishing just 0.064 seconds back of Harvick. Truex started in fifth at this race a year ago but had to settle for 20th.

Kyle Busch enters the weekend just two points behind Truex in the standings, but he will start closer to the middle of the pack. Although the No. 18 car made it to the final qualifying stage, he will begin the race in 12th.

Last year's winner Kyle Larson will have some work to do in order to defend his title as he starts in 10th. That comes after he qualified fourth last year. The No. 42 car is currently eighth in the points standings.

As NBC Sports' Daniel McFadin noted, an impressive 10 of the top 12 spots are occupied by playoff drivers.

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