Kasey Kahne put the #83 on pole position at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his fourth pole position start in 2010 and his first since switching to Red Bull Racing Toyota. It's Kahne's 20th career Sprint Cup win in 252 starts, and comes on the day it was announced that Kahne faces surgery on both knees next week to correct a problem that's been present since birth and exacerbated by all the fitness training he now undertakes.

Last week's Phoenix race winner Carl Edwards will line up alongside Kahne on the front row for the green flag, with Jamie McMurray and Bill Elliott forming the second row.

Meanwhile, for the three Sprint Cup contenders, it was Jimmie Johnson who claimed first blood in this weekend's deciding season finale by qualifying in sixth place, while Kevin Harvick will start in a distant 28th position and Denny Hamlin is even more remote down in 37th. That raises the prospect of a big midfield wreck at the start of the race taking out both of Johnson's rivals and handing him another title.

But Johnson won't be taking anything for granted: the lowest starting position of any Homestead race winner was 38th position. And the person who chalked up that unlikely victory? None other than Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin goes into the race 15pts ahead of Johnson and 46pts ahead of Harvick in the Sprint Cup championship.

Michael McDowell and Patrick Carpentier did not qualify, while Scott Speed and Kevin Conway get in through owners' points.

Qualifying positions

1. Kasey Kahne 30.525s
2. Carl Edwards -0.031s
3. Jamie McMurray -0.033s
4. Bill Elliott -0.055s
5. A.J. Allmendinger -0.058s
6. Jimmie Johnson -0.073s
7. David Reutimann -0.078s
8. Mark Martin -0.080s
9. David Ragan -0.101s
10. Regan Smith -0.119s
11. Jeff Gordon -0.123s
12. Elliott Sadler -0.126s
13. Matt Kenseth -0.137s
14. Jeff Burton -0.147s
15. Kurt Busch -0.170s
16. Paul Menard -0.196s
17. Clint Bowyer -0.198s
18. Brad Keselowski -0.209s
19. Joey Logano -0.217s
20. Marcos Ambrose -0.222s
21. J.J. Yeley -0.236s
22. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -0.271s
23. Ryan Newman -0.288s
24. Aric Almirola -0.301s
25. Martin Truex Jr. -0.305s
26. Sam Hornish Jr. -0.313s
27. Greg Biffle -0.327s
28. Kevin Harvick -0.345s
29. Joe Nemechek -0.351s
30. Mike Bliss -0.362s
31. Tony Stewart -0.364s
32. Bobby Labonte -0.364s
33. Kyle Busch -0.412s
34. Casey Mears -0.423s
35. Andy Lally -0.426s
36. Dave Blaney -0.429s
37. Denny Hamlin -0.437s
38. David Gilliland -0.524s
39. Travis Kvapil -0.530s
40. Juan Montoya -0.687s
41. Scott Speed+ -0.691s
42. Kevin Conway+* -1.104s
43. Landon Cassill -0.429s

Did not qualify

44. Michael McDowell -0.437s
45. Patrick Carpentier -0.795s

*=Rookie
+=Set by Owner Points

 

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