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Kahne on pole at 'stupid fast' Kansas

"That was actually a good pickup for us," said Bowyer of his third position on the grid. "I think it will be a good starting spot. That's a fast lap. It's unreal how much that gets your attention. The thing kind of wiggled — I arched it big because I saw some cars getting tight and that's what I'd been fighting — tight off of two. Arched it real big getting into one and I was a little slow getting to the gas. Coulda, would, shoulda."

Kyle Busch's comments underscored just how much faster the racetrack was performing and how scary the extra 10mph was in reality when he said, "We're all just high-fiving each other because we're coming back in one piece. It's crazy fast out there."

He added: "It's not necessarily the top speed we are going down the straightaways is any different than we've ever been, but the minimum speed — you're carrying so much corner speed here that it's just amazing that you don't fall off that much through the turns. White-knuckling, baby. That's what it's all about."

Non-Chase drivers Aric Almirola and Ryan Newman claim the third row, with Kahne's Hendrick Motorsports team mate Jimmie Johnson lining up on the fourth row alongside Joey Logano. Other Chase contenders include Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick starting from tenth with Roush Fenway Racing duo Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth alongside each other in 11th and 12th.

Martin Truex Jr. will start from 16th place in the third MWR car, while Jeff Gordon could only manage a disappointing 19th place on the grid. That's still better than current points leader Brad Keselowski starting from 25th, however - or reigning champion Tony Stewart who was only able to post the 33rd fastest time.

"We just have more work to do than we wanted for Sunday," said Keselowski after qualifying ended. "Race day is what counts and we have some more practice time to work on [during Saturday]."

Denny Hamlin took part in qualifying on Friday and went on to claim ninth on the grid, just a day after taking a hard hit in pre-event testing of the newly-laid surface of the Speedway that he admitted had left him dizzy.

"It was the first time I really had some dizziness after a hit," said Hamlin. "Usually I'm sore or your jaw hurts from clenching your jaw. This is the first time I really got dizzy.

"Obviously the severity of it, and the speeds we were running, it was a wise thing to do anyway," Hamlin continued. "Just bell-rung, typical hard hit, ring-your-bell kind of thing. You get jarred around, you feel a little out of it at first. Everything came back okay."

In the aftermath of Dale Earnhardt Jr. being sidelined with concussion, there was considerably more focus on Hamlin's fitness to participate than usual. Although he was able to drive the wrecked #11 back to the garage, Hamlin was still dispatched to the medical centre for a check-over and even asked to return an hour later for a second check before being allowed to get behind the wheel of the back-up car.




Related Pictures

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Mark Martin, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, talks with Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Benefiting Avon Foundation for Women Toyota, after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 19, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, stands next to his car after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 19, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Earnhardt, Jr. is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, qualifies for second position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Kahne is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Pole winner Jeff Gordon, driver of the #5 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz and the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with champagne and crew chief Tony Gibson in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, wins, causing his crew to celebrate Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burn-out Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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