Date: Sept. 5, 2014
Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 Qualifying (Round 26 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (21.324 seconds at 126.618 mph)
SHR Lineup: Kevin Harvick (4th, 21.453 seconds at 125.857 mph)
Kurt Busch (9th, 21.615 seconds at 124.913 mph)
Danica Patrick (13th, 21.629 seconds at 124.832 mph)
Tony Stewart (19th, 21.700 seconds at 124.424 mph)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway by setting the fourth-fastest lap in qualifying for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of21.453 seconds at 125.857 mph on the .75-mile oval.
“It doesn’t drive very well, but it drives – I guess as good as anybody’s,” said Harvick, who has three Sprint Cup wins at Richmond (September 2006, September 2011 and April 2013). “The Budweiser team has done a great job and we just have to put it all together.”
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, 10-minute round of qualifying 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.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, qualified ninth with a time of 21.615 seconds at 124.913 mph.
“That was a good pickup from practice,” said Busch, who won at Richmond in September 2005. “I’m proud of all the guys on this Haas Automation team and the effort they put in today. We made gains on it all day and the guys got it pretty well dialed in for qualifying. We’ll get it switched back over to race trim and see what we’ve got for tomorrow night.”
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 13th with a time of 21.629 seconds at 124.832 mph.
“It was just a tick loose,” said Patrick, who will make her fourth Sprint Cup start at Richmond Saturday night. “It’s a shame, because we were right there to get into the final session. Overall though, we’re much better than we’ve been here, so it’s a nice starting spot for the GoDaddy Chevy.”
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 19th with a time of 21.700 seconds at 124.424 mph. Stewart has three Sprint Cup wins at Richmond (September 1999, May 2001 and May 2002).
Brad Keselowski led the final round of knockout qualifying by taking the pole with a lap of 21.324 seconds at 126.618 mph. It was his seventh career Sprint Cup pole, his fourth of the season and his first at Richmond.
Jeff Gordon will start on the outside of row one after clocking in at 21.422 seconds at 126.039 mph.
The 10 other drivers who made it to the final round of qualifying were Jimmie Johnson, Harvick, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson, Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman. All are listed in the order they’ll start the race.