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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]
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Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Hellmann`s Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with Jared Fogle of Subway after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Bobby Labonte, driver of the #33 Thunder Coal Chevrolet SS, qualified fourth Friday, July 4, 2014 for Saturday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, applies the Winner`s Decal after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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