Biffle gets the pole at Darlington

When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes the green flag on Saturday night for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceay, Greg Biffle will start the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford from the pole for the second time in 2012, thanks to a qualifying lap clocked at 27.281 seconds.

“It was a great lap,” Biffle said. “I can’t say enough about these guys working on this 3M Ford Fusion. They’re doing a great job. I love this race track.”

A pair of Hendrick Motorsports drivers, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne, posted matching qualifying laps at a speed of 27.386 seconds — the second fastest time during Friday’s qualifying session. As a result of being higher in points than his teammate, Johnson took the second spot on the starting grid to start his No. 48 Chevrolet alongside Biffle on the front row. Kahne will start third on Saturday night.

“It was just a great lap,” Johnson said. “We have been working hard on the car all day. It had a lot of comfort and speed in it.”

Kahne No. 5 Chevrolet will be joined on the second row by Ryan Newman in the No. 38 Stewart Hass Racing Chevrolet.

Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car was the highest-qualifying Toyota. He’ll round out the top-five on the starting grid.

The two Penske Racing entries and the only two Dodges in the race field — the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 of A.J. Allmendinger — will start in close proximity in the Southern 500, after Keselowski qualified 15th and Allmendinger 16th in the qualifying session.

Four drivers — Scott Riggs, Michael McDowell, Stephen Leicht and Mike Bliss failed to make the race.

Below, is the starting lineup for the Bojangles’ Southern 500:

Row 1: Greg Biffle (16), Jimmie Johnson (48)

Row 2: Kasey Kahne (5), Ryan Newman (39)

Row 3: Kyle Busch (18), Martin Truex Jr. (56)

Row 4: Carl Edwards (99), Denny Hamlin (11)

Row 5: Regan Smith (78), Jeff Burton (31)

Row 6: Jamie McMurray (1), Jeff Gordon (24)

Row 7: Aric Almirola (43), Paul Menard (27)

Row 8: Brad Keselowski (2), A.J. Allmendinger (22)

Row 9: Tony Stewart (14), Mark Martin (55)

Row 10: Matt Kenseth (17), Landon Cassill (83)

Row 11: Joey Logano (20), Bobby Labonte (47)

Row 12: Kevin Harvick (29), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88)

Row 13: Kurt Busch (51), Clint Bowyer (15)

Row 14: Juan Montoya (42), Marcos Ambrose (9)

Row 15: Scott Speed (79), Josh Wise (26)

Row 16: Casey Mears (13), David Stremme (30)

Row 17: Travis Kvapil (73), Dave Blaney (36)

Row 18: Mike Skinner (52), David Gilliland (38)

Row 19: David Ragan (34), Danica Patrick (10)

Row 20: Cole Whitt (74), Joe Nemechek (87)

Row 21: David Reutimann (93), Reed Sorenson (32)

Row 22: J.J. Yeley (49)

Live television coverage of the race is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. ET start on FOX

Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @NASCARexaminer

Topics: Darlington Raceway, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, NASCAR, Southern 500

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