When all was said and done at the Darlington Raceway on Friday, it was Kevin Harvick who crossed the finish line ahead of the rest.
It is Harvick's first career pole and it keeps him in the hunt for his first Southern 500 NASCAR victory.
''It all worked out," said Harvick " Knockout qualifying paid off for us today because we were able to save the best for last."
Harvick's explanation for his ability to beat the competition in this first knockout qualifying session comes down to having the fastest car.
It's simple enough, but certainly not something to take for granted. This is a session that a new track record of 184.145 mph set courtesy of Aric Almirola (Harvick crossed the finish line with a speed of 183.479 mph).
Almirola's lap was said to be more than 2 mph than the previous mark, and he looked to be the most likely to finish the qualifying session in first.
— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) April 11, 2014
Armirola would go on to finish in third place behind Harvick and Joey Logano.
Because Harvick said his team had "faster cars", he believes it helped him find the edge needed to get past Almirola.
Harvick credited his No. 4 Chevrolet team with the improved quality of qualifying speed.
It seemed all drivers were faster this year than drivers on the roadway this time last year when Kurt Busch set a record of 181.918 mph. It's reported that all 25 drivers did better than that mark during the first round of qualifying.
As this is a knockout race, not everyone was able to make it through to the next round of racing. This included Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Will there be future speed records? It's likely. Since Busch's record was set last year it was beaten in six of eight subsequent races.
Harvick's car may have been faster today, but with someone else holding the the track speed record, there's no telling who will take the win in the Bojangles Southern 500.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 11, 2014
Image via YouTube