Date: July 11, 2014
Event: Camping World RV Sales 301 Qualifying (Round 19 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (27.574 seconds at 138.130 mph – new track record)
SHR Lineup: Tony Stewart (4th, 27.786 seconds at 137.076 mph in Round 2)
Kevin Harvick (12th, 28.024 seconds at 135.912 mph in Round 2)
Kurt Busch (18th, 27.968 seconds at 136.184 mph in Round 1)
Danica Patrick (29th, 28.189 seconds at 135.117 mph in Round 1)
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon by setting the fourth-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Stewart turned a lap of 27.786 seconds at 137.076 mph on the 1.058-mile oval in the final qualifying round.
“I’m actually pretty happy with that,” said Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup winner at New Hampshire (July 2000, July 2005 and September 2011). “Our Mobil 1 Chevy is good in race trim and now we’ve got a good starting spot and good pit selection.”
Qualifying consisted of two rounds. The first was 30 minutes, with every driver on the track vying to set the fastest lap. The 12 fastest drivers from the first round advanced to the second and final round where they battled for the pole. Positions 1-12 were set by speeds in the final round. The remaining 43-car field was set by speeds posted by those who did not advance into the final round.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 12th with a time of 28.024 seconds at 135.912 mph.
“We have to turn the center of the corner better,” said Harvick, who won at New Hampshire in September 2006. “We haven’t been able to make anything better through the center of the corner without hurting the exit of our Budweiser Chevrolet. We need to make some good improvements in practice tomorrow to get where we need to be.”
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 18th with a time of 27.968 seconds at 136.184 mph.
“It was just too loose,” said Busch, who is a three-time Sprint Cup winner at New Hampshire, which includes a season sweep in 2004. “That was all the car had in it. We made the right adjustments to our Haas Automation Chevrolet. We adjusted the air pressure and track bar, but we just couldn’t gain the traction we needed. We did everything that we were supposed to do, but the car was just too loose.”
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 29th with a time of 28.189 seconds at 135.117 mph.
“It was just sort of jumpy and we couldn’t get a good lap,” said Patrick, who will make her third Sprint Cup start at New Hampshire Sunday. “The GoDaddy guys worked hard, but that’s about all there was in it. We’ve got two practice sessions tomorrow to get after it and make it race ready.”
Kyle Busch won the pole in the final round of knockout qualifying with a lap of 27.574 seconds at 138.130 mph, breaking the previous Sprint Cup track qualifying record of 27.904 seconds at 136.497 mph set by Ryan Newman on Sept. 20, 2013. It was his 15th career Sprint Cup pole, his second of the season and his second at New Hampshire.
Jimmie Johnson will start on the outside of row one after clocking in at 27.642 seconds at 137.790 mph.
The 10 other drivers who made it to the final round of qualifying were Denny Hamlin, Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Harvick. All are listed in the order they’ll start Sunday’s race.
Forty-three drivers attempted to qualify for the Camping World RV Sales 301. All made the race since there are 43 starting positions in a Sprint Cup field.
The Camping World RV Sales 301 gets underway at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with a pre-race show at noon.