Pardon me for having a Captain Obvious moment, but Kevin Harvick is definitely looking like the one to beat for tomorrow’s Challenger Round finale at Dover International Speedway.
After leading the first Sprint Cup practice session and qualifying on the pole yesterday, Harvick has ended the lead-up to the AAA 400 by claiming top honors in final practice with a lap of 157.089 mph.
Brad Keselowski’s lap of 156.379 mph was good enough for P2 in the session. He was followed by Jeff Gordon in third at 155.952 mph, Denny Hamlin in fourth at 155.858 mph, and Aric Almirola in fifth at 155.380 mph.
Keselowski has maintained a stout pace through the practices, but noted that it’s been hard to keep up with how the Monster Mile has evolved over the weekend.
“The track just keeps changing drastically,” Keselowski told Fox Sports. “We see that in the pace – about a good half a second faster in this practice than we were the last practice.
“Usually, it’s the opposite here, so I think that’s kind of thrown everyone for a loop.”
Jamie McMurray was the lone non-Chase competitor in the Top 10 speeds for final practice, slotting in seventh (155.273) behind sixth-place Kasey Kahne and ahead of Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kyle Busch in eighth, ninth, and 10th respectively.
The other Chasers fared like this: Carl Edwards in 11th, Kurt Busch in 14th, A.J. Allmendinger in 16th, Matt Kenseth in 17th, Joey Logano in 18th, Greg Biffle in 20th, and Ryan Newman in 23rd.