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Kahne Bulls His Way To Pole At Darlington

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, May 6 2011

Kasey Kahne set the track qualifying record at Darlington on Friday and will start Saturday's race from the pole. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Gregg Ellman)

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Red Bull Racing’s Kasey Kahae won the pole for Saturday night’s Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Friday afternoon and did it in track-record fashion.

Kahne had a fast lap of 181.254 mph in his Toyota Camry. It was his first pole since the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year.

That’s one of the best qualifying cars I’ve driven in a long, long time,” Kahne said.

It was Kahne’s fourth pole at Darlington.

Ryan Newman was second fastest in a Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet. Newman’s fast lap was at 180.429 mph.

Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing was third fastest with a lap at 180.132 mph.

Carl Edwards, the series points leader, was fourth fastest in a Roush Fenway Racing Ford. His fast lap was at 179.980 mph.

“It’s way better to start up front here and hopefully that will mean a good pit stall. I think that’s going to be good,” Edwards said. “If I had to do it all over again I could maybe go a

Points leader Carl Edwards qualified well at Darlington. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

little faster, but it’s still a good starting spot. The guys did a good job.”

Four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon was fifth fastest in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet as he turned a lap at 179.829 mph.

Sixth and seventh fastest were Richard Petty Motorsports drivers Marcos Ambrose and A.J. Allmendinger.

“I knew what I needed to do on that second lap,” Ambrose said, “but I just wasn’t sure I was gonna be able to do it.  I was basically wide-open through turns one and two and the car stuck.  I’m just so proud of my Stanley team and everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports.  Right now, we’re one and two on the grid.  It might not stay that way, but it’s just a really good moment for us and something we can reflect on and be proud of.”

Rounding out the top 10 were Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski.

Last week’s winner, Kyle Busch, was 14th.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, May 6 2011
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