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MENCS: Kevin Harvick Earns First Pole of the Season At Atlanta

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Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, earned his first 2016 Coors Light Pole Award as he bested Ryan Newman for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Harvick posted a top speed of 190.398 mph at a lap time of 21.118 around the 1.54 mile track in Georgia.

“That was by far the best of the three laps and we saved it perfectly for the end,” Harvick told Fox Sports 1 after climbing from his car.

“This is just a huge credit to everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing,” Harvick said. “For the last few weeks we’ve been in the simulator, we’ve been in the shop. These guys have been in and out of the wind tunnel, they’ve cut bodies off. It’s hard to explain how big of a transition this has been for the whole company.”

It’s been a good week for SHR as Harvick’s teammate Kurt Busch won the Daytona 500, the first point-given race for the company in a Ford. It was announced in 2016 that Stewart-Haas Racing would move to Ford in 2017 and the organization has hit the ground running.

Ryan Newman will start second in Sunday’s race after being edged by Harvick. Newman spent most of the day at the top of the leaderboard as he paced Friday’s only Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice with a speed of 187.875 mph.

Starting third on Sunday will be Kyle Busch followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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