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Kahne on pole for Cup race at Martinsville

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Saturday, March 31, 2012

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Kasey Kahne celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Award with Miss Coors Light
Getty Images for NASCAR
Kasey Kahne rewarded new sponsor HendrickCars.com the pole position for Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at the 1/2-mile Martinsville, VA paperclip oval.  Kevin Harvick will start 2nd giving Chevy the front row sweep.

The Toyotas of Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer make up row 2 and Ryan Newman's Chevy rounds out the top-5.

With a 97.128 mph (19.496 seconds) lap in Saturday's time trials, Kahne edged Kevin Harvick (97.048 mph) for the top starting spot in Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Kahne claimed his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at Martinsville and the 24th of his career.

Four-time Martinsville winner Denny Hamlin (97.003 mph) will start third after running the exact same speed as Clint Bowyer. Hamlin won the tiebreaker for the position based on current owners' points. Ryan Newman (96.988 mph) will start fifth.

In his first year in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Kahne has posted an average starting position of 7.8, but his average finish has been a disappointing 26.6.

"It's a tough track to qualify and a tough track to race -- always has been one of my tougher ones over the years," said Kahne, who has led a total of 19 laps at the famed short track (average finish of 20.7, one top-five and two top-10s in 16 starts). "I'm glad we can start up front, have a great pit stall -- that No. 1 stall -- I think that helps throughout the whole race with track position.

"Hopefully, we'll have a solid day [on Sunday]. That's what we need to do. We've had great Fridays and Saturdays but just haven't put together a Sunday yet."

Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano will start from positions 6 through 10, respectively.

Lineup

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet HendrickCars.com 97.128 19.496 Leader
2 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser is Back 97.048 19.512 -0.016
3 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 97.003 19.521 -0.025
4 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 97.003 19.521 -0.025
5 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Outback Steak House 96.988 19.524 -0.028
6 55 Brian Vickers Toyota RK Motors 96.765 19.569 -0.073
7 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 96.751 19.572 -0.076
8 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 96.745 19.573 -0.077
9 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 96.731 19.576 -0.080
10 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 96.706 19.581 -0.085
11 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Libman / Menards 96.701 19.582 -0.086
12 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Dewalt 96.627 19.597 -0.101
13 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 96.583 19.606 -0.110
14 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 96.430 19.637 -0.141
15 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 96.322 19.659 -0.163
16 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush's Baked Beans 96.215 19.681 -0.185
17 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / CSX "Play it Safe" 96.200 19.684 -0.188
18 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet BB&T 96.180 19.688 -0.192
19 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Belkin 96.049 19.715 -0.219
20 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield "Helping Hungry Homes" 96.049 19.715 -0.219
21 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation / Gary Sinise Foundation 95.971 19.731 -0.235
22 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet MyLowe's 95.854 19.755 -0.259
23 98 Michael McDowell Ford Curb Records 95.849 19.756 -0.260
24 34 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports 95.830 19.760 -0.264
25 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 95.796 19.767 -0.271
26 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 95.743 19.778 -0.282
27 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 95.738 19.779 -0.283
28 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 95.607 19.806 -0.310
29 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Accell Construction 95.607 19.806 -0.310
30 26 Josh Wise* Ford Morristown Driver's Service 95.583 19.811 -0.315
31 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 95.511 19.826 -0.330
32 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 95.477 19.833 -0.337
33 23 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 95.352 19.859 -0.363
34 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 95.347 19.860 -0.364
35 74 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Turn One Racing 95.223 19.886 -0.390
36 32 Ken Schrader Ford Federated Auto Parts 95.127 19.906 -0.410
37 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 94.936 19.946 -0.450
38 38 David Gilliland Ford Long John Silver's 94.780 19.979 -0.483
39 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 94.609 20.015 -0.519
40 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 94.566 20.024 -0.528
41 33 Hermie Sadler Chevrolet Anderson's Maple Syrup 94.486 20.041 -0.545
42 37 Tony Raines Ford Poynt.com 93.757 20.197 -0.701
43 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota JPO Absorbents 93.212 20.315 -0.819
44 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Ollie's Bargain Outlet 93.180 20.322 -0.826
45 52 Scott Speed Toyota Crusader Staffing Associates 92.101 20.560 -1.064
46 119 Mike Bliss Toyota Humphrey Smith Racing 84.846 22.318 -2.822

+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie

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