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Kasey Kahne on pole at Atlanta

Red Bull Racing's Kasey Kahne took pole position for the Labor Day holiday weekend AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with Clint Bowyer starting alongside him on the front row.
Kasey Kahne put Red Bull Racing on pole position at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 29.775s, and his team mate Brian Vickers will line up behind him on the second row in fourth place for the start of Sunday night's AdvoCare 500.

"It was definitely not a perfect lap, but it was a little better than what everyone else did!" said a delighted Kahne, who is with Red Bull Racing for just a single season before moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.

It's Kahne's second pole position of the 2011 season after Darlington, and the 22nd of his Cup career comprising 277 starts. He has won twice at Atlanta - once from pole in 2006 - and a third time lucky could put him into late contention to make the Chase.

Clint Bowyer claimed the second spot with one of the final qualifying runs of the Saturday early evening session, bumping Kyle Busch back to third place. Bowyer desperately needs a win in order to put himself into contention for a Chase wildcard, and the front row starting position is just what the doctor ordered for him.

"She was loose; holy cow, it was a handful!" Bowyer said of the #33's qualifying run. "But it was a fun lap," he added with a big grin on his face. But he added that he was worried about the car's performance on long runs and how hot and greasy the track will be for the evening race: "That is what we are trying to figure out right now is where to be with our car. We have a lot of homework to do tonight."

Busch - who was beaten by Bowyer in the Truck race the night before - was disappointed with the handling of the #18. "It was just a little too loose all through the whole lap, but especially on corner exits," he explained. "I just couldn't get the throttle down the way I needed to, to get myself going on down the straightaway."

Four drivers locked-in to the Chase are in the top seven positions for the start of the race: Kyle Busch in third with Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards in positions five through seven.

"Just happy with the improvements we've been able to make and the performance we've been having lately," summarised Gordon. "I feel like we have a really good race car."

"It's hard to decide where to run on this race track because it's so wide and there's so much grip all over," said Edwards after qualifying. "I think we're gonna see some really good times coming up."




Related Pictures

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Kasey Kahne, driver of the #4 Red Bull Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole banner after setting the pole position of 186.196 mph (29.775 secs.) in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 3 in Hampton, Ga. [Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualified for fourth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Newman is 9th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, won the Pole position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. It was Harvick`s sixth pole win of the 2014 season. He is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (L), driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, talks to Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer Bowl Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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