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Kasey Kahne wins pole in Atlanta

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Saturday, September 03, 2011

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Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne ripped off a lap at 186.196 mph (29.775 seconds) Saturday to win the pole for Sunday night's AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kahne edged Clint Bowyer (185.922 mph) to win his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season and the 22nd of his career. Kyle Busch (185.841 mph) will start third in Sunday's race, followed by Brian Vickers (185.772 mph), Kahne's teammate at Red Bull Racing, and Jeff Gordon.

"It was a good lap," Kahne said in a bit of an understatement, given that he was the only one of 47 drivers to top 186 mph. "Coming to the green, I felt like I had a good car. It got away from me just a little bit off of [Turn] 4, and I just had to do the best I could. I was a little bit on the tight side, so I had to slow down more than I would have liked getting into the [first] corner, but once it did turn, I had tons of grip, and I was able to get off Turn 2 really well.

"Down the backstretch and Turns 3 and 4 were really good, too, so it just worked out well for us. It wasn't a perfect lap, but it must have been just a little bit better than everyone else's."

Kahne has two victories at the 1.54-mile track. He is 15th in the Cup standings, and a win on Sunday night would put him squarely in the mix of drivers competing for wild-card spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

"We need to win if we want to make the Chase," Kahne said. "We're just right there on the outside looking in right now, but I think we've got a decent shot at winning one of these last two races. Atlanta's my favorite race track, and we've got a great starting spot."

This is Kahne's only full season with the Red Bull team, which is up for sale. Kahne will succeed Mark Martin at Hendrick Motorsports next season.

Bowyer is another driver who sorely needs a strong performance to keep his Chase hopes alive. Currently 12th in the standings, Bowyer is 22 points behind 10th-place Tony Stewart.

"It was an important qualifying run," Bowyer said. "We're not out of this thing -- we can't give up on it. And a good qualifying run is a breath of fresh air for all of us. We've been struggling a little bit in the qualifying category. ... She was loose -- holy cow! -- it was a handful. But it was a fun lap."

Results

POS

CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 186.197 29.775 Leader
2 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 185.922 29.819 -0.044
3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Pedigree 185.841 29.832 -0.057
4 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 185.772 29.843 -0.068
5 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 185.735 29.849 -0.074
6 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Crown Royal 185.710 29.853 -0.078
7 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac "Friends of a Feather" 185.561 29.877 -0.102
8 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 185.542 29.880 -0.105
9 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army Reserve 185.486 29.889 -0.114
10 22 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 185.325 29.915 -0.140
11 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Best Buy 185.288 29.921 -0.146
12 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 185.176 29.939 -0.164
13 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota Charter Comm. 185.127 29.947 -0.172
14 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 185.115 29.949 -0.174
15 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 185.059 29.958 -0.183
16 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 184.800 30.000 -0.225
17 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 184.462 30.055 -0.280
18 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Kwikset 184.272 30.086 -0.311
19 6 David Ragan Ford UPS "We Love Logistics" 184.015 30.128 -0.353
20 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 183.899 30.147 -0.372
21 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem 183.801 30.163 -0.388
22 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Quaker State / Menards 183.680 30.183 -0.408
23 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush's Baked Beans 183.394 30.230 -0.455
24 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 183.382 30.232 -0.457
25 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's 183.339 30.239 -0.464
26 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 183.152 30.270 -0.495
27 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 183.121 30.275 -0.500
28 66 Michael McDowell Toyota James Fund 183.025 30.291 -0.516
29 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard Military Intelligence / Amp Energy 182.898 30.312 -0.537
30 46 Scott Speed Ford Property Masters 182.856 30.319 -0.544
31 38 J.J. Yeley Ford Vampt 182.501 30.378 -0.603
32 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Carquest / GoDaddy.com 182.440 30.388 -0.613
33 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Speed Energy 181.759 30.502 -0.727
34 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota ATBD 181.693 30.513 -0.738
35 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Collective Soul / Golden Corral 181.437 30.556 -0.781
36 34 David Gilliland Ford A&W All American Food 180.745 30.673 -0.898
37 51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Phoenix Construction / Thank A Teacher Today-Security Benefit 180.575 30.702 -0.927
38 13 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 180.252 30.757 -0.982
39 60 Mike Skinner Toyota Big Red 180.012 30.798 -1.023
40 32 Mike Bliss Ford Heil Trailer International 179.889 30.819 -1.044
41 55 Travis Kvapil Ford Lazy Days RV 179.872 30.822 -1.047
42 71 Andy Lally+* Ford Interstate Moving Services 178.493 31.060 -1.285
43 195 David Starr Ford AdvoCare 179.737 30.845 -1.070

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