NASCAR Cup

The London Free Press - - SPORTS -

The cheat­ing scan­dal that knocked Kevin Har­vick out of NASCAR’s cham­pi­onship round didn’t slow him a bit at one of his favourite race tracks. Har­vick won the pole for Sun­day’s fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing race for the cham­pi­onship fi­nale with a strong run that briefly over­shad­owed the con­tro­versy his Stew­art-Haas Rac­ing team cre­ated with an il­le­gal part. Har­vick turned a lap at 139.340 mph Fri­day around ISM Race­way out­side Phoenix to put him­self in po­si­tion to re­qual­ify for the cham­pi­onship. His win­ning car from last week was found to have an il­le­gal spoiler and the pun­ish­ment cost him his au­to­matic berth into the fi­nal four. Har­vick is work­ing this week­end with an in­terim crew chief and car chief be­cause his have been sus­pended. “It’s more about peo­ple than it is about cars and we’ve got a lot of good peo­ple,” he said. “You can’t drive a slow car fast and you can’t beat good peo­ple.” Chase El­liott, a play­off con­tender, qual­i­fied sec­ond and was fol­lowed by Ricky Sten­house Jr., Ryan Blaney and Alex Bow­man, none of who are rac­ing for the three re­main­ing spots in the fi­nale at Home­stead-Mi­ami Speed­way. Only Joey Logano is al­ready locked into Home­stead and he qual­i­fied ninth. The rest of the play­off drivers are spread through the field. Kyle Busch qual­i­fied sixth, reign­ing se­ries cham­pion Mar­tin Truex Jr. was 13th and fol­lowed by Kurt Busch. Clint Bowyer qual­i­fied 15th and Aric Almirola was 18th, low­est of the play­off drivers.

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