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Kahne Drives To Pole at Martinsville.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 31 2012

Kasey Kahne won his second pole of the season on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Erik J. Perel)

Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports won the pole Saturday for Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

Kahne had a fast lap of 97.128 mph in a Chevrolet Impala.

The pole was the second of the season for Kahne and his first at the Martinsville short track.

“It was a really solid lap,” Kahne said. “The team did a good job yesterday. We didn’t have the most speed yesterday but I felt like the car was balanced really well. I felt pretty stable going around the track. It was the same in qualifying today. It was a good lap.

“It’s a tough track to qualify. It’s a tough track to race, always has been one of my tougher ones over the years. I’m glad we can start up front and have a great pit stall in that number one stall. I think that helps throughout the whole race with track position. Hopefully we will have a solid day tomorrow. That is what we need to do. We have had great Friday and Saturday’s and just haven’t put together a Sunday yet. Hopefully tomorrow will be a nice start to a really good season.”

Kahne’s best finish at Martinsville is second, which he earned in 2005.

He will start Sunday’s race 27th in points and with a lot of eyes on him. In his much anticipated first year at Hendrick, Kahne’s best finish is 14th. To go along with that, he has three finishes of 29th or worse.

“When I started out basically a year and a half of waiting to get in the No. 5 car and knew my cars would be really fast and would have a great team behind me and all that,” Kahne said. “I was really excited. In Phoenix I felt like every lap there I just wanted to go so hard and I was doing that on the 20 some lap when I hit the wall. That was an eye opener and since then I have tried to be more like I was last year. Just know I have a good car but take my time and do things the way I need to.

“In Vegas we went backwards early because we were loose. We come back to the front late and probably going to run third or fourth and got in that wreck at the end and other things have happened since then. I feel like I have been definitely cautious enough and still as aggressive and as ‘after it’ as I can be so far this year minus Phoenix. Last week at California I knew we had to finish and that was on my mind but we were still just doing all we could. It has just been kind of a tough start but I think it is turning.”

Second fastest in qualifying was Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing. His fast lap in his Chevrolet was at 97.048 mph.

Qualifying third fastest was Denny Hamlin in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. He had a lap at 97.003 mph.

Michael Waltrip Racing’s Clint Bowyer was next at 97.003 in his Toyota. Fifth was Ryan Newman of Stewart-Haas Racing.

Rounding out the top 10 were Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 31 2012
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