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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]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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