Kahne qualifies on pole for Cup race at Kansas
By DAVE SKRETTA
The Associated Press | October 20,2012
Kasey Kahne hold the pole award on Friday from Kansas Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Kansas City, Kan.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Every championship contender knew that starting position would be paramount at repaved Kansas Speedway, where getting to the front after the green flag drops could present a problem.
Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer will have the luxury of starting there.
Kahne earned the pole for Sunday’s race by shattering the track record with a lap of 191.360 mph, and Bowyer qualified behind Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Mark Martin in third Friday.
“That was a fast lap,” Bowyer said, basically summing up the lap turned by everyone. “It’s unreal how much that gets your attention.”
Kahne is fifth in points with five races left in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, while Bowyer is fourth after his win last week at Charlotte. Both of them are chasing leader Brad Keselowski, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.
“It’s hammer-down, man,” said Bowyer, a native of Emporia, Kan. “Looking forward to practice tomorrow. I think we’ve done a good job so far. Still got a long ways to go.”
Not as far to go as Keselowski.
He’ll be one of the drivers trying to meander their way through the field over the repaved surface after qualifying 25th. The only Chase driver to qualify worse was three-time champion Tony Stewart, will start 33rd for Sunday’s race.
“We just have more work than we wanted,” Keselowski said. “Track position is important. If you don’t qualify well, you just have to make sure that your car is fast in race trim, and that’s what we’ll try to do tomorrow.”
All 43 cars in the field broke the previous track record 180.856 mph set by Matt Kenseth in 2005.