Kasey Kahne takes first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole with Hendrick at Las Vegas
|By Diego Mejia
||Saturday, March 10th 2012, 02:57 GMT
Kasey Kahne claimed his first pole position for Hendrick Motorsports by setting the pace in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas.
The 31-year-old American, who has endured a tough start to his season, pipped local Kyle Busch to pole by 62 thousandths of a second with a record-setting lap at an average speed of 190.456mph. Cool track conditions and a new right-side tyre compound from Goodyear contributed to both drivers beating the track's previous benchmark.
"It feels good, the car was awesome, it felt so stable," said Kahne after claiming his third career pole at Las Vegas. "It was the same way last week at Phoenix.
"Great effort by the team and looking forward to Sunday, it was a great way to win a pole today and I feel good. I've always liked racing [at] Vegas. We've never won here but we've run pretty well at times. It'll be a good race on Sunday."
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Busch bounced back from a shortened practice session - in which the front end of his Toyota was damaged after he ran over debris early in the session - to complete the front row.
Richard Childress Racing driver Kevin Harvick was third while Kahne's team-mate Dale Earnhardt Jr was fourth fastest ahead of Michael Waltrip Racing's Clint Bowyer, who rounded out the top five.
Four-time Las Vegas winner Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick) was the last man to get on the track after setting the pace in practice and was on a pole-setting run halfway through his lap but ended up sixth, losing time out of the final turn. Reigning champion Tony Stewart (Stewart Haas) was seventh ahead of the best of the Roush Fenway Fords in Greg Biffle's hands.
Wood Brothers' Trevor Bayne was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 25th, while 19-year-old Timmy Hill qualified 42nd for his Cup debut. Scott Riggs and Robby Gordon failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 28.353s
2. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 28.415s + 0.062s
3. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 28.419s + 0.066s
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 28.440s + 0.087s
5. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 28.450s + 0.097s
6. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 28.455s + 0.102s
7. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 28.471s + 0.118s
8. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 28.478s + 0.125s
9. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 28.496s + 0.143s
10. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 28.508s + 0.155s
11. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 28.540s + 0.187s
12. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 28.549s + 0.196s
13. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 28.576s + 0.223s
14. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge 28.581s + 0.228s
15. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 28.585s + 0.232s
16. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 28.608s + 0.255s
17. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 28.615s + 0.262s
18. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 28.657s + 0.304s
19. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.699s + 0.346s
20. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 28.703s + 0.350s
21. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 28.710s + 0.357s
22. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 28.761s + 0.408s
23. Brendan Gaughan Childress Chevrolet 28.774s + 0.421s
24. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 28.775s + 0.422s
25. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 28.821s + 0.468s
26. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 28.830s + 0.477s
27. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 28.879s + 0.526s
28. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 28.879s + 0.526s
29. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.911s + 0.558s
30. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 29.087s + 0.734s
31. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 29.088s + 0.735s
32. Casey Mears Germain Ford 29.146s + 0.793s
33. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 29.215s + 0.862s
34. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 29.239s + 0.886s
35. David Ragan Front Row Ford 29.286s + 0.933s
36. JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Toyota 29.289s + 0.936s
37. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 29.320s + 0.967s
38. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 29.356s + 1.003s
39. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 29.370s + 1.017s
40. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 29.421s + 1.068s
41. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 29.459s + 1.106s
42. Timmy Hill Rick Ware/Max Q Ford 29.528s + 1.175s
43. David Stremme Inception Toyota 29.556s + 1.203s
Did not qualify:
Scott Riggs R3 Chevrolet 29.601s + 1.248s
Robby Gordon Gordon Dodge 29.624s + 1.271s
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