There’s fast, and then there’s Freaky Fast – Kevin Harvick proved just that on Thursday evening in Monster Energy Cup qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR has descended upon their home track in Concord, NC for one of the sport’s biggest race weekends of the year. Tradition, speed, and patriotism all collide together on this Memorial Day weekend for the longest race of the season; the Coca-Cola 600.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a venue in which track position has become king, and qualifying up front is more important than ever. Harvick and his SHR team will be in the best position for the start of Sunday’s race after the No.4 Mobil 1 Chevrolet easily topped the charts in the final round of qualifying. The Bakersfield, CA native ran 193.424MPH, nearly one second faster than second-place qualifier Kyle Busch, who went 192.513MPH.
“The car unloaded fast. It was very edgy to drive, definitely a hairy lap,” said Harvick in the media center post-qualifying. “But I think the main thing is our car worked very well through Turns 3 and 4 and that’s always our goal – to get the car to turn through the middle of 3 and 4 and be able to stay in the gas.”
Thursday night’s pole is the third of the season for Harvick, and his second-straight at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Harvick, a two-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600, heads into Sunday’s race with confidence on his side.
“Our cars have been fast. We’ve qualified well. We’ve had a lot of speed. We just haven’t put together the weekend, but we’ve been running well and tonight is no different,” said Harvick.
Starting next to Harvick on the front row is Busch, who is looking to sweep Charlotte Motor Speedway’s May events after winning last weekend’s Monster Energy All-Star race.
“You know once we unloaded off the truck, our M&M’s Red, White, and Blue Camry was really fast,” said Busch after qualifying. “We were kind of the fastest guys there through the beginning part of practice and then everybody else kind of caught up to us there, but overall great run for us. Shows that we have the potential, we just need to put it all together.”
Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, Clint Bowyer, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the rest of the top-10 qualifiers. Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, one of the biggest Memorial Day traditions, is set to get underway at 6:00PM ET – televised on FOX.