Daniel Hemric captured his first career Monster Energy Cup Series pole in qualifying for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Hemric turned a lap around the 1.5-mile oval at a speed of 178.047 mph and was the only driver to break 178 mph.
“It’s pretty special,” said Hemric, who will leave the Richard Childress Racing team at season’s end. “This is a result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people and I’m very thankful for that effort.
“They come to the race track every week ready to go to work. With everything going on around us, you can get lost and distracted in things but to know these guys have had my back through all of it has meant the world to me. Hopefully there are many more years of my Cup future down the road.”
David Ragan, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five.
Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace completed the first 10 qualifiers.
Other Playoff drivers in the field include Martin Truex, Jr. (11th), Chase Elliott (14th), Alex Bowman (16th), Kyle Busch (18th), Clint Bowyer (21st), Denny Hamlin (23rd), William Byron (25th), Joey Logano (29th) and Kevin Harvick (40th).
Harvick’s car failed inspection three times so he did not take a qualifying lap. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will start last in the field and the team’s crew chief Cheddar Smith was ejected.
“The driveline was dragging the tunnel at qualifying ride height and we didn’t feel comfortable sending the car out on the race track,” Harvick explained. “So, we took the car out of inspection on our own and then it failed inspection at the wrong time for toe, which we didn’t think we were close on.”
See Also: Harvick to Start Last
Truex Jr. also lost his car chief Blake Harris after his car failed inspection twice.
Motor Racing Network’s live coverage of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 begins at 1:30 p.m. ET.