Kasey Kahne claimed his third pole of the year, his first since Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April, when he turned in a 50.017-second lap at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Saturday during qualifying for Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at the treack.
“Feels good,” Kahne said of claiming the pole. “These guys do a great job. They’ve really prepared a great car.
Kahne will be joined on the front row for Sunday’s race by Ryan Newman, who posted a second-fastest lap time of 50.098 seconds on Saturday. Newman will be the only non-Chase for the Sprint Cup Series driver to start in the top-five come race time on Sunday.
“I’m just really proud of the guys,” Newman said. “My job is a very small percentage of what that lap was all about.”
Clint Bowyer was third, Tony Stewart fourth and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five.
“I’m blown away,” Bowyer said. “Shocked that we were top-three. Very, very proud of (crew chief Brian) Pattie and everybody on our 5-Hour Energy Toyota with the support of the Avon Foundation and everything we’ve got going on. We haven’t been qualifying very good on these restrictor-plate tracks and today it caught me off guard.”
Newman held the provisional pole for quite some time during the qualifying session. And for awhile, Stewart was in the second spot, giving Stewart-Haas Racing the provisional front row. But Bowyer wound up coming between the two, and then everyone was shuffled back a spot when Kahne made his run and claimed the top starting spot.
Three other non-Chasers joined Newman in the top-10 in qualifying. Carl Edwards qualified seventh, Trevor Bayne was eighth and Sam Hornish Jr. 10th.
Six Chase drivers claimed starting spots inside the top-10. Joining Kahne, Bowyer, Stewart and Biffle were Jeff Gordon in sixth and Martin Truex Jr. in ninth.
With only 43 drivers making qualifying attempts on Saturday, everyone who made a qualifying run garnered a starting spot for the race on Sunday.
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