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Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 Qualifying
DARLINGTON, S.C.Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, qualified eighth for Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway.
"I was pretty happy with that lap," said Stewart. "I didn't know if I got through (turns) three and four as good as I needed to, but I knew I did a pretty good job getting through (turns) one and two. Three and four seem to be the areas that we always need to work on here. I ran a tighter line through there than I have all day, and we made some adjustments from the end of practice that made the car better."
Stewart toured the 1.366-mile oval in 28.911 seconds with an average speed of 170.094 mph. Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate - Bobby Labonte - qualified 12th with a time of 28.945 seconds at an average speed of 169.895 mph.
Rookie Kasey Kahne captured his second career pole position with a time of 28.638 seconds at an average speed of 171.716 mph. Rounding out the top-five were Dale Earnhardt Jr. (28.732 seconds at 171.154 mph), Greg Biffle (28.744 seconds at 171.083 mph), Kurt Busch (28.754 seconds at 171.023 mph) and Derrike Cope (28.773 seconds at 170.910 mph).
Forty-four drivers attempted to qualify for the 293-lap race. The lone driver not making the cut in the 43-car field was Stanton Barrett.
As far as manufacturers went, Dodge took the top spot thanks to Kahne's pole-winning mark, while Chevrolet was next best at the hands of Earnhardt. Ford was the third quickest make via Biffle, and driving the only Pontiac in the field was Andy Belmont, who will start 42nd via a provisional.
The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 gets underway on Sun., March 21 at 1 p.m. EST. FOX will carry live coverage of the event.