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Kevin Harvick climbs out of his race car after qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Friday. Harvick won the pole.
Friday, October 4, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - It was easy for Kevin Harvick to remember what transpired the last time he sat on the pole.
For one thing, he won the race. For another, he doesn't sit on them very often.
Harvick earned his first pole since September 2006 on Friday when he turned the fastest lap at Kansas Speedway. Harvick knocked Ricky Stenhouse Jr. from the top spot and Jimmie Johnson into the second row for the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
"When you win that few poles, you can remember what happened those particular days," Harvick said. "You know, throughout my career for whatever reason, we haven't qualified well, and we always seem to race better than we qualify."
Harvick, who is fourth in points, was fastest in the early practice before turning a lap of 187.526 mph in qualifying. Stenhouse was next at 187.480, and Johnson was third at 187.162.
It certainly helps to start from the front, especially this week at Kansas.
The track underwent a repave last year and, combined with the new "multi-zone" tread that Goodyear has brought this weekend, track position figures to be at a premium. Drivers are hopeful of two- and three-lane racing, but Stenhouse said that it will be difficult to pass.
"I think track position is going to be very important," he said. "We were fast here last time, led some laps and got caught by a caution on pit road."
Kimmel wins 10th title
Frank Kimmel put quite an exclamation mark on his 10th ARCA championship.
After wrapping it up simply by turning a practice lap earlier in the day, Kimmel raced to his 80th career victory in the weather-shortened series finale at Kansas Speedway. The win allowed him to break a tie with Iggy Katona for the most in series history.
"It's been just a phenomenal year for the entire team. The guys have worked extremely hard," Kimmel said. "The cars have been really good this year, just a model of consistency and that's what it takes in a points race."
The race was the final one in the six-decade career of James Hylton, the Roanoke native who made more than 600 starts in the Cup series but has spent the last few years of his career in ARCA.
The 79-year-old Hylton finished 18th in a car that was put together by some of his buddies, and the No. 48 sported a similar paint scheme to the one he raced in the 1960s.
RIR removing seats
RICHMOND - When people arrive for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway in 2014, the track will have a slightly different look.
Track president Dennis Bickmeier said on Friday that RIR will remove the Henrico Tower and there will be additional seating along the backstretch. He estimated that the track's capacity will drop about 10,000 seats.
"We're taking down parts of Henrico grandstands [along the backstretch]," he said. "The lower part of the backstretch as you come toward turn three as well as some sections of the Old Dominion grandstands in Turn 3."
Bickmeier said that the plan to remove some seating has been formulating for over a year. These sections have been on the low satisfactory end of post-race fan survey data.
- Billy Fellin, Richmond Times-Dispatch
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