Kansas NASCAR: Kasey Kahne on pole as speeds rise

Kasey Kahne claimed his fourth pole position of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season with a record-setting lap in qualifying for Sunday's Chase round at the newly repaved Kansas Speedway

Kansas NASCAR: Kasey Kahne on pole as speeds rise

The Hendrick Motorsports driver denied veteran Mark Martin another pole. Martin's benchmark was beaten by the #5 Chevrolet with a flying lap at an average speed of 191.360 mph, just a couple of hundredths faster than what the Michael Waltrip Racing driver had managed.

Given the track's resurfacing and reconfiguration, which included adding variable and increased banking in the turns, the whole field lapped under the existing track record. Kahne actually ran 1.6 seconds faster despite Goodyear's cautious approach with tyre selection for the weekend.

"The car was awesome right there," Kahne said. "It was great. I went into [Turn] 3, and felt like I could go wide open. So I went back to wide open, and then I started just chattering a little bit. So, I eased off the throttle and back down. I definitely gave up a little time doing that."

Martin's team-mate Clint Bowyer, fresh from his victory at Charlotte last week, was third fastest and also broke the 191mph barrier. Kyle Busch made it three Toyotas among the top four on the grid.

Richard Petty's Aric Almirola was the best Ford in fifth ahead of Stewart-Haas' Ryan Newman and Hendrick's Jimmie Johnson.

Joe Gibbs duo Joey Logano and title contender Denny Hamlin followed in eighth and ninth respectively. Hamlin was running his back-up car after crashing his primary one during Thursday morning's test session.

Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick completed the top 10 ahead of Greg Biffle, who was unable to back up his speed from practice earlier in the day, having run a lap that would have placed him on the front row during the opening session.

Chase leader Brad Keselowski had yet another poor qualifying with only 25th fastest place - his third consecutive start outside the top 20. But he is still expected to be a factor in Sunday's race at the track where he claimed his first Cup victory for Penske Racing last year in a fuel-saving run.

Michael McDowell was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 23rd. Cole Whitt, David Stremme and Josh Wise failed to make the field.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                     Time     Gap
 1.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet           28.219s
 2.  Mark Martin         Waltrip Toyota               28.237s  + 0.018s
 3.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota               28.253s  + 0.034s
 4.  Kyle Busch          Gibbs Toyota                 28.258s  + 0.039s
 5.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                   28.274s  + 0.055s
 6.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       28.294s  + 0.075s
 7.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet           28.296s  + 0.077s
 8.  Joey Logano         Gibbs Toyota                 28.300s  + 0.081s
 9.  Denny Hamlin        Gibbs Toyota                 28.314s  + 0.095s
10.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet          28.360s  + 0.141s
11.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford            28.363s  + 0.144s
12.  Matt Kenseth        Roush Fenway Ford            28.365s  + 0.146s
13.  AJ Allmendinger     Phoenix Chevrolet            28.398s  + 0.179s
14.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet          28.401s  + 0.182s
15.  Sam Hornish Jr      Penske Dodge                 28.407s  + 0.188s
16.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota               28.430s  + 0.211s
17.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford            28.434s  + 0.215s
18.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                   28.447s  + 0.228s
19.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet           28.493s  + 0.274s
20.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet          28.516s  + 0.297s
21.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  28.531s  + 0.312s
22.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota         28.531s  + 0.312s
23.  Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                 28.532s  + 0.313s
24.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  28.594s  + 0.375s
25.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Dodge                 28.606s  + 0.387s
26.  Landon Cassill      BK Toyota                    28.625s  + 0.406s
27.  JJ Yeley            Max Q Chevrolet              28.627s  + 0.408s
28.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                 28.632s  + 0.413s
29.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet      28.667s  + 0.448s
30.  Mike Bliss          Humphrey Smith Toyota        28.697s  + 0.478s
31.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                    28.701s  + 0.482s
32.  Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford           28.715s  + 0.496s
33.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       28.745s  + 0.526s
34.  Reed Sorenson       Humphrey Smith Toyota        28.760s  + 0.541s
35.  Scott Speed         Leavine Ford                 28.762s  + 0.543s
36.  Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                 28.788s  + 0.569s
37.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford               28.804s  + 0.585s
38.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford               28.841s  + 0.622s
39.  Regan Smith         Hendrick Chevrolet           28.849s  + 0.630s
40.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       28.893s  + 0.674s
41.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet            29.384s  + 1.165s
42.  Timmy Hill          FAS Lane Ford                29.408s  + 1.189s
43.  Kelly Bires         Go Green Ford                28.833s  + 0.614s

Did not qualify:

     Cole Whitt          Circle Sport Chevrolet       28.896s  + 0.677s
     David Stremme       Inception Toyota             29.028s  + 0.809s
     Josh Wise           Front Row Ford               29.589s  + 1.370s
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