NASCAR Homestead: Harvick on pole as Busch heads the title chasers

Kevin Harvick has qualified on pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead, with Kyle Busch quickest of the title-chasing quartet

NASCAR Homestead: Harvick on pole as Busch heads the title chasers

Despite setting a time in the final part of qualifying only good enough for ninth, reigning champion Busch was the highest of the Chase contenders ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team-mate Carl Edwards.

Both appeared to struggle in the final part of qualifying, but it was more than title rivals Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson could manage as neither made it past the second stage.

Logano looked relatively safe in the first portion, but in the second part where he needed to finish 12 or higher, could only manage a time good enough for 13th, 0.02s down on the cut-off.

Johnson was clearly struggling for speed from the off and fifth in morning practice couldn't help his challenge as he languished in the bottom reaches of the first qualifying session.

His task was made more difficult by Landon Cassill spinning his Front Row Motorsports Ford with just 57 seconds left. That left Johnson with a one-lap dash, and though he scraped into the second phase of qualifying he could only finish 14th.

With all four chase contenders struggling, it was left for Stewart-Hass Ford driver Harvick to claim pole ahead of Brad Keselowski, with Ryan Newman third.

Chase Elliot was the quickest throughout the first two sessions but could only manage fifth in the final shootout behind Denny Hamlin.

Tony Stewart will line up in 11th for his final Sprint Cup race before retiring.

STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 30.399s
2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 0.017s
3 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 0.043s
4 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.076s
5 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.093s
6 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 0.114s
7 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.195s
8 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 0.211s
9 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.290s
10 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.350s
11 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 0.462s
12 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 0.488s
13 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 0.172s
14 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.236s
15 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 0.237s
16 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 0.240s
17 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 0.262s
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 0.289s
19 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.343s
20 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 0.364s
21 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 0.455s
22 Brian Scott Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 0.461s
23 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 0.463s
24 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 0.679s
25 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 0.442s
26 Michael McDowell Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 0.463s
27 Chris Buescher Front Row Motorsports Ford 0.464s
28 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 0.477s
29 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.512s
30 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 0.517s
31 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 0.581s
32 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford 0.631s
33 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 0.644s
34 Ty Dillon Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 0.672s
35 Regan Smith Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 0.688s
36 David Ragan BK Racing Toyota 0.900s
37 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Toyota 1.258s
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt BK Racing Toyota 1.613s
39 Dylan Lupton Go FAS Racing Ford 2.124s
40 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 2.160s
41 Gray Gaulding The Motorsports Group Chevrolet 1.566s

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