Kansas City, KS (Sports Network) - Kasey Kahne won the pole for Sunday's
Hollywood Casino 400 after he easily shattered the track qualifying record on
the newly repaved Kansas Speedway.
Kahne, who is in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, topped
Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer in Friday's
qualifying session at Kansas with a lap at 191.360 mph. The Hendrick
Motorsports driver notched his fourth pole of the season and the 26th of his
Sprint Cup Series career.
All 46 drivers who participated in qualifying posted a lap faster than the
previous track record of 180.856 mph, set by Matt Kenseth in Oct. 2005.
Sprint Cup teams have spent the past two days testing at Kansas to familiarize
themselves with the new pavement and reconfiguration. The 1.5-mile racetrack
now has variable banking from 17 degrees to 20 in the turns. The previous
banking in the corners here was 15 degrees.
"I'm really happy, and our team has done a nice job this week," Kahne said.
"We've been here for a few days, and it's been cold. The track is great. I
think they did a really nice job here at Kansas Speedway, with the repavement
and making the track what it is. It's going to be tough this weekend, but from
here on out, it's going to be one of the best racetracks we go to."
Martin, who is driving a limited Sprint Cup schedule for MWR this year, earned
the outside pole with a lap at 191.238 mph. His teammate, Clint Bowyer, who
hails from nearby Emporia, Kan., qualified third at 191.130 mph. Bowyer, who
is a title contender, won last weekend's race at Charlotte.
Kyle Busch took the fourth spot, followed by Aric Almirola and Ryan Newman.
Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick completed the
top-10. Johnson, Hamlin and Harvick are in the Chase as well.
During Thursday morning's test session, Hamlin crashed hard into the turn one
wall. He complained of dizziness shortly after the incident. Medical officials
at the track evaluated him throughout the day and eventually cleared him to
"I feel 100 percent today," Hamlin said prior to the start of Friday's lone
practice session. "Thought I was good yesterday, and then obviously, I got
better with every hour, but today after waking up, I'm 100 percent and good to
go. Really, it's just business as usual for the weekend."
Points leader Brad Keselowski qualified 25th. Keselowski currently holds a
seven-point lead over Johnson and a 15-point advantage over Hamlin. Bowyer is
28 markers out of the lead.
Josh Wise, Cole Whitt and David Stremme are those drivers who failed to
qualify for the 400-mile race at Kansas, which is scheduled to start just
after 2 p.m. (ET).
The Sports Network