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Harvick takes Southern 500 pole at Darlington while Almirola breaks qualifying record in 3rd

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    Kevin Harvick steers into Turn 1 during qualifying for a NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Darlington Speedway in Darlington, S.C., Friday, April 11, 2014. Harvick won the pole position for Saturday's race. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) (The Associated Press)

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    Joey Logano waits in his car before a NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race practice at Darlington Speedway in Darlington, S.C., Friday, April 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) (The Associated Press)

Kevin Harvick won his first career pole at Darlington Raceway on Friday as he looks to chase his first Southern 500.

Harvick came out on top in the first knockout qualifying session at NASCAR's oldest superspeedway since the circuit made the change from single-car laps. Joey Logano, the winner Monday in Texas, was second, followed by Aric Almirola.

Almirola finished first in the second of three rounds of qualifying and set a track record of 184.145 mph, shattering Kurt Busch's mark of 181.918 set last May when the Southern 500 was held on Mother's Day weekend. It's the sixth time in eight races this season the qualifying record fell.

Almirola's teammate, Marcos Ambrose, was fourth, followed by Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch.