That’s a good way for Kevin Harvick to rebound from a tough NASCAR Cup Series playoff opener.

Harvick saved his best in Friday’s knockout qualifying for last, posting the fastest average lap speed in the final session (121.880 mph) to claim the pole for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

Harvick, who leads the way in the series with seven wins, started the 2018 playoffs with a wreck and 39th-place finish last weekend at Las Vegas.

The pole is Harvick’s third this season and 24th of his career.

“We didn’t do any qualifying runs in practice,” Harvick said. “After we ended our last race run, huge credit to the race team for putting the qualifying set-up underneath it.

“Aric (Almirola) came here and tested and (we) kind of had a baseline for where we needed to shoot for, for targets and things like that.”

Denny Hamlin ended up second (121.847 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. was third (121.529 mph). Ryan Blaney was fourth and Daniel Suarez, who was fastest in the first two rounds, completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 12 starters are Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Cole Custer and Kyle Busch, who won the spring race at Richmond.

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