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Kahne takes his first pole for Hendrick

Kasey Kahne took pole position for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with Kyle Busch alongside him on the front row.
Kasey Kahne was celebrating his first pole position since moving to Hendrick Motorsports with a record lap of 28.353s (190.456mph) in Friday evening qualifying.

"It was a good lap, we carried a lot of speed to the line," said Kahne after his qualifying lap. "I got through 1 and 2 really well. When I got to 3, I was a little bit tight and just had a little more wheel than what I would have liked coming off of 4 and back to the line.

"So I knew I was a little on the tight side, but I still felt like it was a good run and the Hendrick engine runs so well it pulls you there," he continued. "I was on the gas and these Hendrick engines run so well. I felt good about it but it definitely wasn't a perfect lap."

Not perfect, perhaps - but still better than anyone else, pipping Kyle Busch to the pole by 0.062s to give Kahne his first pole since Atlanta last September, his 23rd pole in 291 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Three of those have now come at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, so the high-banked D-shaped 1.5-mile oval is clearly a track that suits the former Red Bull Racing driver.

Kahne's looking for a good recovery after wasting a strong opportunity in last weekend's race.

"Last weekend, we had as good a car as anybody at Phoenix. I qualified well, was really good in practice - the best car in practice - and then in the race, we just needed to do things right and be there at the end," he said. "I made a mistake, and we lost a lot of points because of that. We had a rough day because of a mistake I made," he admitted, saying that it was down to him to make amends for that disappointment.

Alongside him for Sunday's green flag start, Kyle Busch was happy enough with the remaining slot on the front row - especially given that he had lost most of his track time in the earlier Friday practice session after his car was damaged running over debris from Juan Montoya hitting the wall.

"It was really good: the car felt great, laid down a good lap," said the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. "Wasn't sure it was going to be that good, but considering practice we were really loose and we only got a couple runs in. Didn't quite get the setup the way we wanted to and gave us an early draw. Maybe that's what hurt us a little bit."

Vegas is actually Busch's home event, and he's been on pole here twice before. He admitted that being the home town boy put him under more of a spotlight at Vegas than anywhere else.

"Certainly, there's added pressure on just from myself or feeling like you really want to run well here in front of the hometown crowd and being able to go out there and be successful here," he agreed. "Definitely more stressful for sure. Coming to Las Vegas, it's always fun of course to be able to come back home and see friends and everything like that, but it's more stressful when you get to the race track because you want to do well."

Kevin Harvick will start alongside Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the second row of the grid.




Related Pictures

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Kasey Kahne wins the Coors Light Pole Award for the 15th Annual Kobalt Tools 400 with a track-record lap of 28.353 seconds, 190.456 mph on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev.. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]
Kasey Kahne celebrates his first Coors Light Pole Award with Hendrick Motorsports and 23rd pole in 291 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev. His last pole came in September 2011 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]
Kasey Kahne signs a record third Coors Light Pole Award in nine races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday in Las Vegas, Nev. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won the Pole position Friday, April 11, 2014 for Saturday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Damage to the winshield of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Spring is Calling Chevrolet, is repaired on pit road during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

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