Talladega NASCAR: Kasey Kahne takes pole
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, October 6th 2012, 19:23 GMT|
Kasey Kahne claimed his third pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase round at Talladega.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver beat the previous benchmark set by Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman with a second flying lap of 50.017 seconds at an average speed of 191.455 mph.
It gave Kahne's outfit a pole position sweep at the 2.66-mile track this year following Jeff Gordon's in May.
"These guys do a great job - a lot of Hendrick engines towards the front of the pack tomorrow," noted Kahne. "We have a strong car. It's nice to get my first pole at Talladega. That's a tough track and we'd never done that, so it felt good.
"We'll see how it runs tomorrow but it ran great yesterday and really well again today.
"I'm just going to race all day like I have any other time here. It kind of changed my way of doing it a couple of years ago. You can't control all of it but you can definitely control some of it.
"We'll try to stay out of trouble, stay in the right position, hopefully place ourselves in a good spot late and have a shot at winning the race."
Kahne denied Newman his 50th Cup career pole but the Stewart-Haas driver will line up right in front of his team-mate Tony Stewart on Sunday's grid. The reigning champion qualified fourth behind the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota of two-time Talladega winner Clint Bowyer.
Roush Fenway's Greg Biffle qualified fifth as the best Ford, beating the Hendrick Chevrolet of Gordon.
Biffle's team-mate Carl Edwards will start right behind him from seventh and beside the sister Ford Fusion of Wood Brothers' Trevor Bayne, who was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in eighth.
Martin Truex Jr made it two MWR Toyotas in the top 10 with the ninth fastest lap. His boss Michael Waltrip also qualified strongly in 11th, as he returns to drive his outfit's #55 car this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson, hoping for his first finish of the year in a restrictor-plate event, will start 17th and five places ahead of Chase leader, Penske's Brad Keselowski.
Meanwhile Denny Hamlin was slowest among the title contenders, finishing 23rd fastest in his #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 50.017s 2. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 50.098s + 0.081s 3. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 50.105s + 0.088s 4. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 50.138s + 0.121s 5. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 50.148s + 0.131s 6. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 50.176s + 0.159s 7. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 50.193s + 0.176s 8. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 50.208s + 0.191s 9. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 50.225s + 0.208s 10. Sam Hornish Jr Penske Dodge 50.234s + 0.217s 11. Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota 50.277s + 0.260s 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 50.287s + 0.270s 13. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 50.289s + 0.272s 14. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 50.296s + 0.279s 15. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 50.302s + 0.285s 16. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 50.312s + 0.295s 17. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 50.321s + 0.304s 18. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 50.321s + 0.304s 19. Casey Mears Germain Ford 50.353s + 0.336s 20. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 50.355s + 0.338s 21. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 50.370s + 0.353s 22. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 50.459s + 0.442s 23. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 50.467s + 0.450s 24. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 50.469s + 0.452s 25. David Ragan Front Row Ford 50.502s + 0.485s 26. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 50.519s + 0.502s 27. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 50.565s + 0.548s 28. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 50.582s + 0.565s 29. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 50.660s + 0.643s 30. David Stremme Inception Toyota 50.681s + 0.664s 31. Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 50.722s + 0.705s 32. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 50.740s + 0.723s 33. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 50.761s + 0.744s 34. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 50.764s + 0.747s 35. Timmy Hill NEMCO Toyota 50.848s + 0.831s 36. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 50.856s + 0.839s 37. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 50.936s + 0.919s 38. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 50.940s + 0.923s 39. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 51.083s + 1.066s 40. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 51.211s + 1.194s 41. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 51.268s + 1.251s 42. Cole Whitt Circle Sport Chevrolet 51.404s + 1.387s 43. Robert Richardson Jr R3 Chevrolet 51.500s + 1.483s