Rain puts Kenseth on pole


DOVER, Del. (AP) — For a driver on the brink of championship elimination, Kevin Harvick might have the biggest target at Dover.

The mission is clear: Knock out Harvick, knock out a champion.

“Everyone in this Chase knows they are the biggest threat for the championship,” four-time champ Jeff Gordon said. “If they get eliminated then that takes the biggest threat out of it.

“Kevin and that team are going to be working hard and all the other teams are going to be working hard to win this race and potentially eliminate one of the biggest threats.”

Harvick and his team have been doing a pretty good job of taking themselves out of the running in their title defense.

Time may have run out on the No. 4 Chevrolet.

The third race in NASCAR’s playoffs is a crucial one — the bottom four drivers out of the 16 in the field are cut and gone from the title picture.

Harvick is 15th and will have to win to advance and remain in championship contention.

Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Harvick and Clint Bowyer are in the bottom four and most at risk of elimination Sunday.

“We’ve still got racing to do,” Bowyer said.

Just not Friday.

There was no action on the track because rain wiped out qualifying at Dover International Speedway.

Even when it rains, the sun shines on Joe Gibbs Racing.

With the field set on points, Matt Kenseth has the pole and is followed by JGR teammates Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards. Hamlin won the Chase opener at Chicagoland and Kenseth won last week at New Hampshire to earn automatic berths in the next round.