Torey Fox | NASCAR Digital Media

Harvick races to Busch Pole Award at Indianapolis

Kevin Harvick sped to his third career Busch Pole Award at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, racing his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford around the 2.5 mile track at 185.766 mph.

The pole is Harvick’s fifth of the season and the 30th of his career.

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Harvick’s single-car qualifying time nearly was bettered by Paul Menard as qualifying neared its conclusion, but Menard settled for the second starting spot in his No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford after recording a lap at 185.724 mph.

Four of the top five qualifiers were in Fords, with Clint Bowyer in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (185.277 mph) and Joey Logano in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford (185.193 mph) logging the second and third times, respectively.

Jimmie Johnson will start fifth in the regular-season finale, the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard (2 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, IMS Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), after recording a lap of 185.181 mph in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Bowyer, Johnson, Ryan Newman and Daniel Suarez are separated by 26 points entering Sunday’s race as they fight for the two remaining playoff spots. A winner behind them in the standings would really shake up the playoff picture.

This marks the first time since 2017 that Busch Pole Qualifying took place on the same day as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.