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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)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, applies the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, races to win with Kyle Larson, driver of the 42 Target Chevrolet SS beside him finishing in eighth place Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win with a burnout Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase.  (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualified for fourth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Newman is 9th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick (L), driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, talks to Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer Bowl Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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