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Harvick starts quest for record seventh Phoenix win with pole

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Harvick starts quest for record seventh Phoenix win with pole
By:
Mar 14, 2015, 1:31 AM

Kevin Harvick has won the last three NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Phoenix.

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
David Ragan, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
David Ragan, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Kevin Harvick knows how to get around Phoenix International Raceway the fast way, as evidenced by six-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, four of them coming in the last five races, including the last three. Those stats, though, didn't include a pole until Friday.

I'm never happy with second ... We definitely had a fast car, but not as fast as the No. 4 (Harvick).

Joey Logano

He turned in a 25.577-second/140.751 mph lap during the third round of qualifying for Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 to claim his first-career pole at PIR and his first pole of 2015.

"Just really enjoying myself, obviously," Harvick said of his recent success, overall and at Phoenix. "It's been quite a run.

Making a statement

Harvick, last week's winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will attempt to keep alive a streak of six-consecutive top-two finishes, dating back to the final three races of the 2014 season.

Harvick will be joined on the front row by Joey Logano, the track qualifying record holder at Phoenix. The second-place start at PIR will be Logano's fourth top-10 start in the four races, so far, this season.

"I'm never happy with second," Logano said. "We definitely had a fast car, but not as fast as the No. 4 (Harvick). Two front-row starts in the last three weeks is something to be proud of."

Jamie McMurray will start third.

Harvick was also fastest in the second of the three rounds of qualifying with a 25.616-second/140.537 mph lap, followed by Kasey Kahne and Logano.

"Just really proud of everybody on our No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser team," Harvick said.

Ragan misses out after strong start

The fastest driver in round one was David Ragan, who is still filling in behind the wheel of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the injured Kyle Busch. Ragan posted his round-leading lap of 25.922 seconds/138.878 mph in the final seconds of the round to advance to round two, but he was denied advancement to the final round in the final seconds of round two when Jeff Gordon slipped into the top-12 of the second round in the final seconds.

Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin posted identical laps of 26.170 seconds/137.562 mph in round one, tying them for the 24th-fastest lap of the round. Truex was awarded advancement to round two by virtue of his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team having more owner points than Hamlin's No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team.

Ragan, though, failed to get past round two, barely missing advancement to the final round with the 13th-fastest lap.

Matt Kenseth will start Sunday's race fourth and Ryan Newman fifth. Other drivers advancing to the final round and claiming spots sixth through 12th on the starting grid include Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson.

Tanner Berryhill and Travis Kvapil failed to make the race.

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Kurt Busch is "home" again

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Joe Gibbs Racing is feeling Kyle Busch's absence

Joe Gibbs Racing is feeling Kyle Busch's absence
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