Kasey Kahne set a new qualifying track record at the newly-repaved Kansas Speedway on Friday, turning in a 28.219-second lap to claim the pole starting spot for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It’s his fourth pole of the season and the third of his career at Kansas.
“Our Farmers Insurance Chevrolet was awesome right there,” Kahne said. “It was great. I tried to get a little — I went into (turn) three, and felt like I could go wide open. So I went back to wide open, and then I started just chattering a little bit. So, I eased off the throttle and back down. I definitely gave up a little time doing that. So far so good though.”
Kahne will be joined on the front row by Mark Martin. Martin’s Michael Waltrip Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer, qualified third.
Forty-six drivers made qualifying attempts, and all posted lap times faster than the previous pole record that was set by Matt Kenseth in 2005. Kyle Busch qualified fourth to give Toyota three of the top-four spots on the starting grid for Sunday’s race. Pole sitter and Chevrolet driver Kahne was the only non-Toyota driver to qualify in the top-four.
Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five in a Ford to put three manufacturers in the top-five in qualifying.
“I feel like I got all I could out of it,” Almirola said. “This Farmland Ford Fusion was just a little too loose. It has been fast since we got here and it was really fast in race trim and qualifying trim as well.”
Sam Hornish Jr. had the highest-qualifying Dodge, taking the 15th spot.
Five Chase for the Sprint Cup competitors posted top-10 qualifying runs. Joining Kahne and Bowyer in the top-10 were Chasers Jimmie Johnson in seventh, Denny Hamlin in ninth and Kevin Harvick in 10th. Tony Stewart was the slowest of the 12 Chase drivers, qualifying in the 33rd spot.
Despite beating the old track record, three drivers failed to earn starting spots. Those drivers include Cole Whitt, David Stremme and Josh Wise.
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