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Kahne Wins Pole at MIS

| , RacinToday.com Friday, August 13 2010

Kasey Kahne and the No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports car won the pole at Michigan Friday. (File photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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Kasey Kahne notched his second Sprint Cup pole of the season Friday when he laid down the quickest qualifying lap at Michigan International Speedway.

Kahne, whose only other pole in 2010 came at the Infineon Raceway road course, turned a lap at 187.183 mph.

It was the 18th pole of his career. It came on the week that it was announced that he would driver for Red Bull Racing next season. Kahne is driving a Richard Petty Motorsports for this season and will be moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.

“I think it is nice to have that done with and know for myself where I am going,” Kahne said of having his future settled. “I can focus on the end of the year with the Bud team and Richard Petty Motorsports. I don’t know how much that has been on my mind. I feel like I am focused pretty hard each week and trying to do the right things. It is something that I definitely think about a lot. As far as the team goes, they showed up this week just like they have done each week. They are solid every week and it is nice to work with them each weekend.”

Second fastest was defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson in a Hendrick Chevrolet. Johnson’s fast lap was at 187.086 mph and he will start on the outside of the first row in the Carfax 400 on Sunday.

“We struggled a little bit in practice there and focused on a specific area of the race track and we got the car a lot better,” Johnson said. “Not a good lap; not the best lap, but we got a good lap. My future teammate (Kahne) had to come in and spoil our fun. But it’s just been a great day all in all to be honest with you.”

Clint Bowyer of Richard Childress Racing was third fastest and Tony Stewart was fourth.

“When I was going down the back straightaway I was thinking this isn’t going to be very good,” Bowyer, who is 13th in points, said. “I got loose right in the middle of (Turns) One and Two and I wasn’t able to go wide open and putt the throttle down wide open. And I went down into (Turn) Three and got tight and I thought, oh I’ve messed both ends up. This is going to be horrible! And I pretty much said that on the radio. And Richard (Childress) said, ‘I’m glad it felt horrible ’cause you’re on the pole’. So I’m not swallowing my words there.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, who won last weekend’s race at Watkins Glen International, was fifth.

| , RacinToday.com Friday, August 13 2010
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