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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]
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)
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)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 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)
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)

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