Kevin Harvick to start first at Darlington

Harvick’s last pole came at Charlotte in May. (AP)

Kevin Harvick has his fourth pole of 2017.

Harvick posted the fastest speed in the third round of qualifying on Saturday and will start first in Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington. He beat out defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch, who won two weeks ago at Bristol.

Harvick won three poles in the first 12 races of the season and then went 12 races without starting first until his qualifying effort Saturday. Since getting his first win of the season at Sonoma in June, Harvick has five top-10 finishes in eight races and will be a contender when the playoffs begin even if he doesn’t have the outright speed he’s had in years past.

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Through the first two-thirds of the season, Harvick has led 545 laps. He led nearly 1,400 laps in 2016 and led over 2,000 laps in each of the two seasons prior to that.

Here’s what the starting lineup looks like.

1. Kevin Harvick
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Kyle Busch
4. Kyle Larson
5. Jamie McMurray
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Kurt Busch
8. Joey Logano
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Erik Jones
11. Matt Kenseth
12. Ryan Blaney
13. Austin Dillon
14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
15. Aric Almirola
16. Clint Bowyer
17. Ryan Newman
18. Jimmie Johnson
19. Daniel Suarez
20. Chase Elliott
21. Paul Menard
22. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
23. Kasey Kahne
24. Trevor Bayne
25. Ty Dillon
26. David Ragan
27. Chris Buescher
28. Matt DiBenedetto
29. AJ Allmendinger
30. Michael McDowell
31. Landon Cassill
32. Reed Sorenson
33. Danica Patrick
34. Cole Whitt
35. Corey LaJoie
36. Gray Gaulding
37. Jeffrey Earnhardt
38. Derrike Cope
39. Cody Ware
40. Carl Long

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!