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Harvick grabs Kansas pole with new track record

<p>Kevin Harvick won the pole for Saturday night's 5-Hour Energy 400 after beating Team Penske drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski and setting a new track qualifying record at Kansas Speedway.</p>

Kansas City, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Harvick won the pole for Saturday night's 5-Hour Energy 400 after beating Team Penske drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski and setting a new track qualifying record at Kansas Speedway.

Harvick, who is in his first season as driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, posted a record lap around this 1.5-mile racetrack at 194.658 mph during the second round of qualifying. His lap at 194.252 mph in the third and final round earned him the pole -- his second of the season and the eighth of his Sprint Cup Series career. Harvick became the first driver to win multiple poles in the series this season.

"My qualifying record hasn't been great, but this team has done a really good job in getting our qualifying stuff situated after the first four or five weeks of the season and then come here and sit on the pole," Harvick said. "I thought I had screwed it up. I never got through [turns] 3 and 4 how I wanted to. I felt like I got through 1 and 2 in all three laps pretty good, but 3 and 4 was a little bit too tight. I got a little concerned, but all in all, it worked out okay."

Kansas became the sixth racetrack in 2014 to set a new qualifying track record, joining Phoenix, Las Vegas, Bristol, Martinsville and Darlington.

Logano qualified second with his lap at 193.910 mph, while his teammate, Keselowski, took the third spot after turning a lap at 193.507 mph. It's the third time this season that Logano will start second. He won the pole at Las Vegas.

"We've had a lot of second-place qualifying efforts this season, which isn't the end of the world, but I really like winning," Logano said. "Second kind of blows. Overall, I guess we've got a good starting spot. I can obviously see the front from there. We'll go for it."

Harvick and Logano are the only repeat race winners in Sprint Cup this season. Harvick started on the pole and won the April 12 event at Darlington.

Carl Edwards, who hails from nearby Columbia, Mo., qualified fourth, followed by Kyle Larson, a rookie this season, Kurt Busch, who led the way in the first round (193.611 mph), Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.

Danica Patrick will start in the top-10 for the second consecutive race after qualifying ninth. Patrick beat four-time Cup Series champion and two-time Kansas race winner Jeff Gordon by only 0.006 seconds in the second round to claim the 12th and final transfer spot for the last segment.

Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray and Aric Almirola were 10th through 12th, respectively. Gordon, the current points leader, will start 13th, one spot ahead of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, who is the six- time and defending series champion and a two-time winner at Kansas as well.

Other notable drivers and their starting positions include: Kasey Kahne (17th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (22nd), Clint Bowyer (23rd), Kyle Busch (24th), Matt Kenseth (28th) and last weekend's race winner Denny Hamlin (30th).

Bowyer, who grew up in nearby Emporia, Kan., is making his 300th career Cup start.

Dave Blaney was the only driver who failed to qualify. His 20-year-old son, Ryan Blaney, a Camping World Truck Series regular, qualified 21st in what will be his first career Sprint Cup start.

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