Kasey Kahne claimed his second pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville. The Hendrick Motorsports driver prevented Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick from sweeping NASCAR pole positions on Saturday after he had earlier set the benchmark in qualifying for the Truck Series.
Kahne set a fastest lap of 19.496 seconds at an average speed of 97.128mph to claim the 24th pole position of his Cup career, beating Harvick's time by 16 hundredths of a second, with 10 more drivers trailing by less than a tenth of a second at the half-mile track, NASCAR's shortest and slowest oval.
Following a tough start to his Hendrick Motorsports career – he currently ranks a lowly 27th in the standings – Kahne hopes to translate his qualifying speed into a solid result on race day.
"Hopefully we'll have a solid day tomorrow, that's what we need to do," said Kahne. "We've had great Fridays and Saturdays and just haven't put together a Sunday yet."
Four-time Martinsville winner Denny Hamlin was third for Joe Gibbs Racing ahead of fellow Toyota driver Clint Bowyer, as Michael Waltrip Racing cars continued to show speed, Brian Vickers qualifying sixth, while Martin Truex Jr was 13th.
Jeff Gordon had dominated practice on Friday but come qualifying he was only able to just make it into the top 10, while his Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson, also a multiple winner at Martinsville, was further back in 22nd.
Points leader Greg Biffle was a lowly 26th as Roush Fenway cars struggled for qualifying speed, the best of them being Matt Kenseth in 21st.
Tony Raines had initially made the field but his times were disallowed following inspection after his car was found to be too low, which allowed JJ Yeley to take the start tomorrow.
Mike Bliss failed to make the cut, his car spilling fluid on track, causing a further delay in a session that had already been pushed back in the schedule due to rain in the morning. Kurt Busch was allowed a second qualifying attempt after his first run was spoiled by Bliss' issue.
Scott Speed was another non-qualifier.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 19.496s
2. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 19.512s + 0.016s
3. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 19.521s + 0.025s
4. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 19.521s + 0.025s
5. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 19.524s + 0.028s
6. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota 19.569s + 0.073s
7. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 19.572s + 0.076s
8. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 19.573s + 0.077s
9. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 19.576s + 0.080s
10. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 19.581s + 0.085s
11. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 19.582s + 0.086s
12. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 19.597s + 0.101s
13. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 19.606s + 0.110s
14. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 19.637s + 0.141s
15. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 19.659s + 0.163s
16. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 19.681s + 0.185s
17. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 19.684s + 0.188s
18. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 19.688s + 0.192s
19. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet 19.715s + 0.219s
20. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 19.715s + 0.219s
21. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 19.731s + 0.235s
22. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 19.755s + 0.259s
23. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 19.756s + 0.260s
24. David Ragan Front Row Ford 19.760s + 0.264s
25. Casey Mears Germain Ford 19.767s + 0.271s
26. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 19.778s + 0.282s
27. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge 19.779s + 0.283s
28. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 19.806s + 0.310s
29. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 19.806s + 0.310s
30. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 19.811s + 0.315s
31. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 19.826s + 0.330s
32. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet 19.833s + 0.337s
33. Scott Riggs R3 Chevrolet 19.859s + 0.363s
34. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 19.860s + 0.364s
35. Reed Sorenson Turn One Chevrolet 19.886s + 0.390s
36. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 19.906s + 0.410s
37. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 19.946s + 0.450s
38. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 19.979s + 0.483s
39. David Stremme Inception Toyota 20.015s + 0.519s
40. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 20.024s + 0.528s
41. Hermie Sadler Childress Chevrolet 20.041s + 0.545s
42. Tony Raines Front Row Ford 20.197s + 0.701s
43. JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Toyota 20.315s + 0.819s
44. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 20.322s + 0.826s
45. Scott Speed Hamilton Means Toyota 20.560s + 1.064s
46. Mike Bliss Humphrey-Smith Toyota 22.318s + 2.822s