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Kahne wins Darlington pole with record lap

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Saturday, May 07, 2011

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Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne won the pole for Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Touring the 1.366-mile circuit at 181.254 mph (27.131 seconds), Kahne shattered the qualifying record of 180.370 mph set last year by Jamie McMurray. The pole was Kahne's first of the season and the 21st of his Cup Series career.

Ryan Newman qualified second at 180.429 mph, followed by Denny Hamlin (180.132 mph), Carl Edwards (179.980 mph) and seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon (179.829 mph). Marcos Ambrose, A.J. Allmendinger, Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski will start from positions 6-10, respectively.

Starting from the pole is nothing new to Kahne, who qualified first at Darlington in three of his first four visits to the Lady in Black. Finishes are another issue. Kahne's best result at Darlington is a third in 2005, but in the past five races he has fared no better than 20th.

This is Kahne's first Darlington pole, however, since the introduction of NASCAR's new car in 2007.

"We've came pretty close a few times with this car, but we just haven't been quite as fast," Kahne said. "I think the first three times we qualified here we were on the pole when I first came into this series [actually three of four].

"I guess I've always just taken to qualifying at this place. I like running right against the wall and carrying the speed and the momentum. We hadn't been quite as fast in a couple years and [Friday] we were really fast. It was great. The lap felt awesome. I knew we definitely had a good chance at the pole when I made the lap."

Results

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 181.254 27.131 Leader
2 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Tornados 180.429 27.255 -0.124
3 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota Sport Clips 180.132 27.300 -0.169
4 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 179.980 27.323 -0.192
5 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 179.829 27.346 -0.215
6 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 179.671 27.370 -0.239
7 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Best Buy 179.448 27.404 -0.273
8 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 179.259 27.433 -0.302
9 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 179.108 27.456 -0.325
10 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 179.082 27.460 -0.329
11 6 David Ragan Ford UPS "We Love Logistics" 179.076 27.461 -0.330
12 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 178.880 27.491 -0.360
13 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 178.588 27.536 -0.405
14 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Wrigley's Doublemint 178.445 27.558 -0.427
15 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Lance Snacks / Tom's Snacks 178.381 27.568 -0.437
16 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 178.264 27.586 -0.455
17 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 178.161 27.602 -0.471
18 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Turtle Wax / Menards 178.103 27.611 -0.480
19 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 178.038 27.621 -0.490
20 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Wiley X Sunglasses 177.993 27.628 -0.497
21 38 Travis Kvapil Ford Long John Silver's 177.987 27.629 -0.498
22 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 177.955 27.634 -0.503
23 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 177.871 27.647 -0.516
24 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 177.826 27.654 -0.523
25 22 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 177.755 27.665 -0.534
26 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T 177.723 27.670 -0.539
27 09 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Thank A Teacher Today / Security Benefit 177.672 27.678 -0.547
28 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 177.614 27.687 -0.556
29 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 177.083 27.770 -0.639
30 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy Sugar Free / National Guard 176.721 27.827 -0.696
31 46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Red Line Oil 176.682 27.833 -0.702
32 13 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 176.391 27.879 -0.748
33 150 T.J. Bell Toyota Bandit Industries 176.239 27.903 -0.772
34 60 Mike Skinner Toyota Big Red 176.201 27.909 -0.778
35 37 Tony Raines Ford Front Row Motorsports 176.189 27.911 -0.780
36 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Outdoors Mossy Oak 176.126 27.921 -0.790
37 34 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 175.472 28.025 -0.894
38 30 David Stremme Chevrolet Inception Motorsports 175.409 28.035 -0.904
39 66 Michael McDowell Toyota K-Love 175.353 28.044 -0.913
40 32 Ken Schrader Ford H&B Railroad / U.S. Chrome 175.290 28.054 -0.923
41 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 174.600 28.165 -1.034
42 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Golden Corral 174.229 28.225 -1.094
43 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Fast Five / Speed Energy 174.167 28.235 -1.104
. . Did Not Qualify . . . . .
44 181 Scott Riggs Chevrolet Whitney Motorsports 174.093 28.247 -1.116
45 71 Andy Lally* Ford Interstate Moving Services 171.866 28.613 -1.482
46 192 Brian Keselowski* Dodge VoiceToday.org 170.892 28.776 -1.645

+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie

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