Kasey Kahne edges Kevin Harvick for Quicken Loans 400 pole
Kasey Kahne ended a 90-race pole drought by qualifying No. 1 for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
During the third and final round of qualifying, Kahne had the fastest lap of the session at 201.99 miles per hour around the 2.0-mile MIS oval. That was enough to put the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports on pole position for the first time this season. It was the 27th career pole for Kahne and the first since Kansas in October 2012.
"Our Great Clips Chevrolet has had speed all three runs, so I knew we'd have a shot today, so that was cool," said Kahne. "It's been a while since we've had a pole."
Kahne said track position will be critical on Sunday.
"The track will be a lot different Sunday," said Kahne. "So, there will be some passing for sure, but it's not going to be easy. So, track position will play a big role in being there at the end of the race."
Qualifying second at 201.613 mph was Kevin Harvick, who for the second week in a row was quickest in the first two rounds but couldn't seal the deal in Round 3. "Kasey put up a little better lap than I did, but it was still a solid run," Harvick said.
Michigan native Brad Keselowski was third in his Team Penske Ford, with Carl Edwards in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and Dave Blaney completing the top five.
"I honestly didn't think we would qualify this well," said Keselowski. "We came with some new stuff on the car which seems to be working."
Blaney's effort extended the Wood Brothers Racing streak of consecutive Michigan starts to 86. The last time the team missed a race here was August 1971.
"It just shows the preparation from all these guys at Wood Brothers Racing," said Blaney. "They do a good job preparing these cars and I think it showed today."
Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing each placed all four of their cars in the top 14 for Sunday's race.
Some big names failed to make it to the final round of qualifying.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 14th, with Tony Stewart 15th and Danica Patrick 19th. "We weren't holding the throttle down as long as some of the other guys," said Earnhardt of his qualifying effort. "I think it'll race pretty good."
The only driver who failed to qualify was Brendan Gaughan.
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