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Earnhardt Jr. wins pole in Kentucky

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Friday, June 28, 2013

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NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins pole in Kentucky.

A few days after the Bleacher report rated Dale Earnhardt Jr. the most overrated driver in NASCAR, and presto he wins the pole.
 
With a fast car and a fortuitous mass of cumulus to help cool Kentucky Speedway during Friday's time trials, Earnhardt put together a track-record, pole-winning run for Saturday night's Quaker State 400, the 17th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event of the season. It was the eighth track qualifying record set this year.
 
Earnhardt sped around the 1.5-mile track at 183.636 mph to edge Carl Edwards (183.306 mph), who was one slight twitch off Turn 2 away from challenging for the top starting spot. Jimmie Johnson (183.144 mph) qualified third, followed by 2011 Kentucky winner Kyle Busch (182.593 mph) and Marcos Ambrose (182.587 mph). zzzz
 
The Coors Light Pole award was the 12th of Earnhardt's career, his first at Kentucky and his first since September 2012 at Richmond.
 
"We thought we had a top-five car in practice, and we got some good cloud cover about six or seven cars in front of us before we went to qualify, and that brought the track temp down to give us a good advantage," Earnhardt said. "It gave us a good opportunity to run a bit quicker lap than maybe what the car had in it."

"...Of course, cooler track temp gives a car more grip, and I would admit that I think we definitely had the better situation. ... And I did think the lap was really good. I got into Turn 1 a little bit over-zealous, but the car actually was working a little better as far as turning through the middle than it was in practice. (Turns) 3 and 4 was just a really good corner."
 
Early in the session, Johnson shot to the top of the board with a lap at 183.144 mph, breaking the record 181.818 mph he set during time trials last year. But the five-time champion's tenure at the top of the mountain was short.
 
With a helpful cloud covering a track that already was cooling as the ambient temperature declined, Earnhardt covered the 1.5-mile distance in 29.406 seconds and knocked his Hendrick Motorsports teammate off the provisional pole.
 
Edwards, the 34th driver to make a qualifying attempt, ran .006 seconds faster than Johnson to break up the Hendrick front row.
 
Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, 2012 race winner Brad Keselowski, Brian Vickers and Juan Pablo Montoya will start from positions six through 10, respectively.

The Quaker State 400 will air on TNT Saturday, June 29 at 8 p.m. ET.

Results

Pos Driver Car Make Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet National Guard Youth Foundation 183.636 29.406 Leader
2 Carl Edwards 99 Ford UPS 183.306 29.459 -0.053
3 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Lowe's Dover White 183.144 29.485 -0.079
4 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota Doublemint 182.593 29.574 -0.168
5 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford Mac Tools 182.587 29.575 -0.169
6 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota FedEx Office 182.340 29.615 -0.209
7 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet Quicken Loans 182.254 29.629 -0.223
8 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford Miller Lite 182.192 29.639 -0.233
9 Brian Vickers 55 Toyota Aaron's / University of Louisville National Championship 181.922 29.683 -0.277
10 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet Target 181.720 29.716 -0.310
11 Joey Logano 22 Ford Shell-Pennzoil 181.708 29.718 -0.312
12 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Drive To End Hunger 181.653 29.727 -0.321
13 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford Fifth Third Bank 181.391 29.770 -0.364
14 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet Utility Trailers 181.360 29.775 -0.369
15 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota 30th Camry Anniversary 181.159 29.808 -0.402
16 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota Dollar General 181.111 29.816 -0.410
17 AJ Allmendinger 47 Toyota Scott Products 180.892 29.852 -0.446
18 Aric Almirola 43 Ford Eckrich 180.868 29.856 -0.450
19 Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 180.832 29.862 -0.456
20 Greg Biffle 16 Ford 3M National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 180.765 29.873 -0.467
21 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet Quaker State 180.638 29.894 -0.488
22 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet Budweiser 180.578 29.904 -0.498
23 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet Hellmann's 180.445 29.926 -0.520
24 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet Menards / Sylvania 179.970 30.005 -0.599
25 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops 179.964 30.006 -0.600
26 Austin Dillon 51 Chevrolet Alsco 179.802 30.033 -0.627
27 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing-Sealy 179.390 30.102 -0.696
28 David Stremme 30 Toyota Lean 1 179.075 30.155 -0.749
29 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 178.944 30.177 -0.771
30 Landon Cassill 33 Chevrolet Little Joe's Autos 178.265 30.292 -0.886
31 Casey Mears 13 Ford Valvoline NextGen 178.235 30.297 -0.891
32 Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet Sany 177.983 30.340 -0.934
33 Michael McDowell 98 Ford Phil Parsons Racing 177.713 30.386 -0.980
34 David Gilliland 38 Ford Long John Silver's 177.486 30.425 -1.019
35 J.J. Yeley 36 Chevrolet United Mining Equipment 176.638 30.571 -1.165
36 David Reutimann 83 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 176.488 30.597 -1.191
37 Josh Wise 35 Ford MDS Transport 176.384 30.615 -1.209
38 David Ragan 34 Ford Taco Bell 176.344 30.622 -1.216
39 Mike Bliss 19 Toyota Plinker Tactical 175.816 30.714 -1.308
40 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 175.707 30.733 -1.327
41 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota TBA 175.234 30.816 -1.410
42 Ken Schrader 32 Ford Federated Auto Parts 172.988 31.216 -1.810
43 Scott Riggs 44 Ford No Label 175.143 30.832 -1.426

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