Kasey Kahne claimed his third pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase round at Talladega.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver beat the previous benchmark set by Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman with a second flying lap of 50.017 seconds at an average speed of 191.455mph. It gave Kahne's outfit a pole position sweep at the 2.66-mile track this year following Jeff Gordon's in May.
"These guys do a great job – a lot of Hendrick engines towards the front of the pack tomorrow," noted Kahne. "We have a strong car. It's nice to get my first pole at Talladega. That's a tough track and we'd never done that, so it felt good.
"We'll see how it runs tomorrow but it ran great yesterday and really well again today. I'm just going to race all day like I have any other time here. It kind of changed my way of doing it a couple of years ago. You can't control all of it but you can definitely control some of it.
"We'll try to stay out of trouble, stay in the right position, hopefully place ourselves in a good spot late and have a shot at winning the race."
Kahne denied Newman his 50th Cup career pole but the Stewart-Haas driver will line up right in front of his team-mate Tony Stewart on Sunday's grid. The reigning champion qualified fourth behind the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota of two-time Talladega winner Clint Bowyer.
Roush Fenway's Greg Biffle qualified fifth as the best Ford, beating the Hendrick Chevrolet of Gordon. Biffle's teammate Carl Edwards will start right behind him from seventh and beside the sister Ford Fusion of Wood Brothers' Trevor Bayne, who was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in eighth.
Martin Truex Jr. made it two MWR Toyotas in the top 10 with the ninth fastest lap. His boss Michael Waltrip also qualified strongly in 11th, as he returns to drive his team's No. 55 car this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson, hoping for his first finish of the year in a restrictor-plate event, will start 17th and five places ahead of Chase leader, Penske's Brad Keselowski. Meanwhile Denny Hamlin was slowest among the title contenders, finishing 23rd fastest in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 50.017s
2. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 50.098s + 0.081s
3. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 50.105s + 0.088s
4. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 50.138s + 0.121s
5. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 50.148s + 0.131s
6. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 50.176s + 0.159s
7. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 50.193s + 0.176s
8. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 50.208s + 0.191s
9. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 50.225s + 0.208s
10. Sam Hornish Jr Penske Dodge 50.234s + 0.217s
11. Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota 50.277s + 0.260s
12. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 50.287s + 0.270s
13. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 50.289s + 0.272s
14. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 50.296s + 0.279s
15. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 50.302s + 0.285s
16. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 50.312s + 0.295s
17. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 50.321s + 0.304s
18. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 50.321s + 0.304s
19. Casey Mears Germain Ford 50.353s + 0.336s
20. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 50.355s + 0.338s
21. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 50.370s + 0.353s
22. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 50.459s + 0.442s
23. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 50.467s + 0.450s
24. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 50.469s + 0.452s
25. David Ragan Front Row Ford 50.502s + 0.485s
26. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 50.519s + 0.502s
27. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 50.565s + 0.548s
28. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 50.582s + 0.565s
29. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 50.660s + 0.643s
30. David Stremme Inception Toyota 50.681s + 0.664s
31. Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 50.722s + 0.705s
32. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 50.740s + 0.723s
33. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 50.761s + 0.744s
34. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 50.764s + 0.747s
35. Timmy Hill NEMCO Toyota 50.848s + 0.831s
36. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 50.856s + 0.839s
37. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 50.936s + 0.919s
38. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 50.940s + 0.923s
39. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 51.083s + 1.066s
40. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 51.211s + 1.194s
41. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 51.268s + 1.251s
42. Cole Whitt Circle Sport Chevrolet 51.404s + 1.387s
43. Robert Richardson Jr R3 Chevrolet 51.500s + 1.483s