Dale Earnhardt Jr. clinched his second pole position of the year on Friday in qualifying at Dover International Speedway for this weekend's AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, this third round of the 2013 Chase.

Earnhardt's lap of 22.243s (161.849mph) is the Hendrick Motorsport driver's first pole in 28 races at Dover and his 13th in 498 Cup races. Initially he didn't think that his lap would be good enough to secure pole and watched as another 17 cars lined up for their turn at setting a time on the one-mile superspeedway only to watch each in turn fall short.

"I made a couple of small errors out in the car, but you never drive every lap perfectly. You always kind of wish you could have done things a little differently. I think the car had maybe another half a tenth or a tenth in it," he admitted. "I watched the lap tracker on a couple of guys. The #99 they were a tenth-and-a-half better than us by the time they got into turn 3 or the middle of 3 and 4. So, yeah, I thought there was a good amount of time left out there for a lot of guys, myself included."

Having led the sole pre-practice qualifying, Matt Kenseth came closest but he was to miss out on pole by just six thousandths of a second to Earnhardt to start alongside the #88 on the front row as he bids for his third consecutive race win after successes at Chicagoland and New Hampshire already this month to put him into an early lead in the Chase.

"I feel bad we missed the pole by just that little bit," said Kenseth, explaining that the sun coming out at just the wrong moment meant that the #20 car got a little loose on its qualifying run. "Gosh, we just missed it by a little bit; just too loose, just couldn't stay in the gas."

The second row is also an all-Chase affair with Ryan Newman starting alongside Carl Edwards, before Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski on row three who are the highest-placed of those drivers no longer in the running for the 2013 championship.

Jimmie Johnson will start from eighth, Kurt Busch from ninth, Joey Logano from 11th and Kevin Harvick in 12th. Kyle Busch will start immediately behind Harvick from 14th place. Jeff Gordon qualified in 16th, Greg Biffle from 19th and Kasey Kahne from 20th, leaving Clint Bowyer as the lowest-starter of the 13 drivers in the Chase in 23rd position on the grid.

Qualifying times

1. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 22.243s (Pole) 161.849mph
2. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 22.249s (+ 0.006s) 161.805mph
3. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 22.258s (+ 0.015s) 161.740mph
4. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 22.276s (+ 0.033s) 161.609mph
5. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 22.276s (+ 0.033s) 161.609mph
6. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 22.278s (+ 0.035s) 161.594mph
7. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 22.292s (+ 0.049s) 161.493mph
8. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 22.313s (+ 0.070s) 161.341mph
9. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 22.315s (+ 0.072s) 161.326mph
10. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 22.332s (+ 0.089s) 161.204mph
11. #22 Joey Logano Ford 22.357s (+ 0.114s) 161.023mph
12. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 22.388s (+ 0.145s) 160.800mph
13. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 22.397s (+ 0.154s) 160.736mph
14. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 22.399s (+ 0.156s) 160.721mph
15. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 22.400s (+ 0.157s) 160.714mph
16. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 22.407s (+ 0.164s) 160.664mph
17. #47 AJ Allmendinger Toyota 22.409s (+ 0.166s) 160.650mph
18. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 22.422s (+ 0.179s) 160.557mph
19. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 22.424s (+ 0.181s) 160.542mph
20. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 22.448s (+ 0.205s) 160.371mph
21. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 22.465s (+ 0.222s) 160.249mph
22. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 22.486s (+ 0.243s) 160.100mph
23. #15 Clint Bowyer Tyt 22.521s (+ 0.278s) 159.851mph
24. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 22.550s (+ 0.307s) 159.645mph
25. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 22.673s (+ 0.430s) 158.779mph
26. #13 Casey Mears Ford 22.697s (+ 0.454s) 158.611mph
27. #34 David Ragan Ford 22.720s (+ 0.477s) 158.451mph
28. #38 David Gilliland Ford 22.747s (+ 0.504s) 158.263mph
29. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 22.786s (+ 0.543s) 157.992mph
30. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 22.795s (+ 0.552s) 157.929mph
31. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 22.848s (+ 0.605s) 157.563mph
32. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 22.850s (+ 0.607s) 157.549mph
33. #30 Cole Whitt Toyota 22.881s (+ 0.638s) 157.336mph
34. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 22.947s (+ 0.704s) 156.883mph
35. #95 Reed Sorenson Ford 22.975s (+ 0.732s) 156.692mph
36. #51 Ryan Truex Chevrolet 22.982s (+ 0.739s) 156.644mph
37. #33 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 23.004s (+ 0.761s) 156.495mph
38. #35 Josh Wise Ford 23.047s (+ 0.804s) 156.203mph
39. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 23.137s (+ 0.894s) 155.595mph
40. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 23.151s (+ 0.908s) 155.501mph
41. #87 Joey Nemechek Toyota 23.251s (+ 1.008s) 154.832mph
42. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 23.297s (+ 1.054s) 154.526mph
43. #40 Tony Raines Chevrolet 23.445s (+ 1.202s) 153.551mph

Practice 1 times

1. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 22.022s (Leader) 163.473mph (19 laps)
2. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 22.105s (-0.083s) 162.859mph (14 laps)
3. #22 Joey Logano Ford 22.137s (-0.115s) 162.624mph (33 laps)
4. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 22.151s (-0.129s) 162.521mph (29 laps)
5. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 22.153s (-0.131s) 162.506mph (21 laps)
6. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 22.175s (-0.153s) 162.345mph (31 laps)
7. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 22.217s (-0.195s) 162.038mph (28 laps)
8. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 22.222s (-0.200s) 162.002mph (23 laps)
9. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 22.261s (-0.239s) 161.718mph (14 laps)
10. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 22.270s (-0.248s) 161.652mph (24 laps)
11. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 22.272s (-0.250s) 161.638mph (20 laps)
12. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 22.277s (-0.255s) 161.602mph (31 laps)
13. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 22.280s (-0.258s) 161.580mph (32 laps)
14. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 22.293s (-0.271s) 161.486mph (27 laps)
15. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 22.333s (-0.311s) 161.196mph (25 laps)
16. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 22.341s (-0.319s) 161.139mph (11 laps)
17. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 22.359s (-0.337s) 161.009mph (27 laps)
18. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 22.362s (-0.340s) 160.987mph (26 laps)
19. #47 AJ Allmendinger Toyota 22.372s (-0.350s) 160.915mph (22 laps)
20. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 22.380s (-0.358s) 160.858mph (19 laps)
21. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 22.395s (-0.373s) 160.750mph (24 laps)
22. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 22.407s (-0.385s) 160.664mph (20 laps)
23. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 22.438s (-0.416s) 160.442mph (22 laps)
24. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 22.465s (-0.443s) 160.249mph (30 laps)
25. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 22.480s (-0.458s) 160.142mph (22 laps)
26. #13 Casey Mears Ford 22.532s (-0.510s) 159.773mph (26 laps)
27. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 22.554s (-0.532s) 159.617mph (20 laps)
28. #38 David Gilliland Ford 22.598s (-0.576s) 159.306mph (13 laps)
29. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 22.603s (-0.581s) 159.271mph (33 laps)
30. #30 Cole Whitt Toyota 22.612s (-0.590s) 159.208mph (15 laps)
31. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 22.689s (-0.667s) 158.667mph (20 laps)
32. #51 Ryan Truex Chevrolet 22.781s (-0.759s) 158.026mph (21 laps)
33. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 22.785s (-0.763s) 157.999mph (24 laps)
34. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 22.823s (-0.801s) 157.736mph (11 laps)
35. #34 David Ragan Ford 22.832s (-0.810s) 157.673mph (13 laps)
36. #33 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 22.933s (-0.911s) 156.979mph (22 laps)
37. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 22.958s (-0.936s) 156.808mph (10 laps)
38. #35 Josh Wise Ford 22.974s (-0.952s) 156.699mph (5 laps)
39. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 23.003s (-0.981s) 156.501mph (15 laps)
40. #95 Reed Sorenson Ford 23.019s (-0.997s) 156.393mph (16 laps)
41. #87 Joey Nemechek Toyota 23.286s (-1.264s) 154.599mph (11 laps)
42. #40 Tony Raines Chevrolet 23.363s (-1.341s) 154.090mph (14 laps)
43. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 23.502s (-1.480s) 153.178mph (11 laps)

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