KANSAS CITY, Kan. – It was easy for Kevin Harvick to remember what transpired the last time he sat on the pole.

For one thing, he won the race. For another, he doesn’t sit on them very often.

Harvick earned his first pole since September 2006 on Friday when he turned the fastest lap at Kansas Speedway. Harvick knocked Ricky Stenhouse Jr. from the top spot and Jimmie Johnson into the second row for the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

“When you win that few poles, you can remember what happened those particular days,” Harvick said. “You know, throughout my career for whatever reason, we haven’t qualified well, and we always seem to race better than we qualify.”

Harvick, who is fourth in points, was fastest in the early practice before turning a lap of 187.526 mph in qualifying. Stenhouse was next at 187.480, and Johnson was third at 187.162.

It’s just the sixth time in 460 races that Harvick has led the field to the green flag, and ends a drought of 254 races without a pole. It’s also the first pole for Richard Childress Racing since Clint Bowyer sat on the front in September 2007 at New Hampshire.

Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano rounded out the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start sixth, followed by Kenseth, Paul Menard, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin. Kyle Busch, who is 12 points behind Kenseth, will start 18th.