Date: Oct. 24, 2015
Event: Qualifying for the CampingWorld.com 500 (Round 32 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (49.234 seconds at 194.500 mph)
SHR Lineup: Kevin Harvick (7th, 49.720 seconds at 192.599 mph)
Tony Stewart (12th, 49.845 seconds at 192.116 mph)
Kurt Busch (14th, 49.792 seconds at 192.320 mph)
Danica Patrick (20th, 49.924 seconds at 191.812 mph)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser /Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Saturday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway by setting the seventh-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 49.720 seconds at 192.599 mph on the 2.66-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.
“That was by far the best qualifying effort we’ve had as a team at a superspeedway,” said Harvick, who won at Talladega in May of 2010. “And it’s not even close. These guys did a great job of preparing the Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet and I give all the credit to the guys preparing the cars for this weekend. They did a great job.”
Qualifying consisted of two rounds of single-car qualifying, with drivers getting one timed green-flag lap per round. The fastest 12 drivers from the first round advanced to the final round of qualifying where they battled for the pole. Positions 1-12 were set by speeds in the final round, while the remaining 43-car field was set by speeds posted by those who did not advance past the first round.
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 12th with a time of 49.845 seconds at 192.116 mph.
“Proud of the guys for giving us a car good enough to make the final round,” said Stewart, who won at Talladega in October of 2008. “Our Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet was pretty good in race trim yesterday. We’ll go out there for 500 miles tomorrow, try to stay out of trouble and hopefully be there at the end.”
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 14th with a time of 49.792 seconds at 192.320 mph.
“We gave it all we had with the Haas Automation Chevrolet,” said Busch, who has six top-five finishes in 29 Sprint Cup starts at Talladega. “The way that impound qualifying works, you are more focused on the race and whatever it gives you in qualifying is what you get. Real proud of this team and the way that everybody has come together here in the Chase. We are as far as we are through this Chase because of great team work.”
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 20th with a time of 49.924 seconds at 191.812 mph.
“The GoDaddy Chevrolet wasn’t quite as fast as we’d hoped in qualifying today,” said Patrick, who will make her sixth Sprint Cup start at Talladega Sunday. “I feel like we have a solid car for the race, so we’ll see how things play out tomorrow.”
Jeff Gordon led the final round of knockout qualifying by taking the pole with a lap of 49.234 seconds at 194.500 mph. It was his 81st career Sprint Cup pole, his fourth of the season and his fifth at Talladega.
Kasey Kahne will start on the outside of row one after clocking in at 49.453 seconds at 193.638 mph.
The 10 other drivers who made it to the final round of qualifying were Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Trevor Bayne, Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Stewart. All are listed in the order they’ll start Sunday’s race.
The CampingWorld.com 500 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday with live coverage provided by NBC Sports Network.