NASCAR starting lineup at Talladega: Kevin Harvick wins pole after restrictor-plate rule change

The ranking came after NASCAR announced a rule change designed to slow down after Jamie McMurray's spectacular crash on Friday.

News April 29, 2018, 00:36 IST


  Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick

New rule , not practice? No problem.

Kevin Harvick, the last driver in the final qualifying, took the pole for Sunday's Geico 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway, turning a lap of 49.247 seconds at 194.448 mph to beat Kurt Busch (49.340, 194.082 mph ).

Saturday's standings came after NASCAR announced a rule change designed to slow down after Jamie McMurray's spectacular crash during Friday's practice.

The two Ford will start in the front row, ahead of the Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr. (49,482, 193,525 mph) and Denny Hamlin (49,633, 192,936 mph).

The context: McMurray had taken a turn of 203.975 mph just before his accident on Friday, more than 6 mph faster than the fastest lap in practice in October. Brad Keselowski told that he estimated that McMurray was going at 210 miles per hour at the time of his accident that sent him spinning around the track.

In response, NASCAR reduced the size of the holes in the restrictor plates from 56/64 from one inch to 55/64, cutting approximately 12-15 horsepower and probably a few miles per hour. There were no additional practices scheduled for Sunday's race after the change and before qualifying and racing, a move that is unprecedented for NASCAR.

The GEICO 500 starts at 2 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox.

Initial training for GEICO 500

1. Kevin Harvick
2. Kurt Busch
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Chase Elliott
6. Erik Jones
7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
] 8. Clint Bowyer
9. Joey Logano
10. Brad Keselowski
11. Alex Bowman
12. David Ragan
13. Paul Menard
14. Daniel Suarez
15. Darrell Wallace Jr.
16. Jimmie Johnson
17. William Byron
18. Ryan Newman
19. Kyle Busch
20. Michael McDowell
21. Trevor Bayne
22. Kyle Larson
23. Ryan Blaney
24. Austin Dillon
25. Chris Buescher
26. Kasey Kahne
27. Jamie McMurray
28. AJ Almendinger
29. Ty Dillon
30. Brendan Gaughan
31. DJ Kennington
32. Timothy Peters
33. Matt DiBenedetto
34. Joey Gase
35. Ross Chastain
36 . Cole Whitt
37. Gray Gaulding
38. Reed Sorenson
39. Timmy Hill
40. Aric Almirola

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