First Career Pole For Kvapil

Travis Kvapil scored his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole on Saturday claiming the top spot for the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Kvapil used his Yates Racing engine power to turn a lap of 187.634 mph in his Ford Fusion.

"I’m really just thankful for Yates Racing and Roush Yates Engines," said Kvapil. "This is a brand new race car. All the guys that build these things back in Concord, they did a great job in the fab shop and I’m just really proud. Todd Parrott loves coming to speedway races and he did a great job preparing this car. All of the guys on the 28 team did a phenomenal job."

What made the moment special is the fact that Kvapil is driving the No. 28 Yates Ford. That is the same No. 28 that forever earned a place in the heart of Alabama race fans when it was driven in the early 1990s by the late Davey Allison, a native of nearby Hueytown.

Ernie Irvan later took over as the driver of the No. 28 and placed it on the pole at Talladega three times. But before Kvapil’s run on Saturday, the car had not been in the pole position at Talladega since 1997.

“I remember watching the 28 with Davey running up front and leading laps,” Kvapil said. “This is a place that’s really special to the Yates family. My crew chief, Todd Parrott, loves coming here. Having the 28 with the Alabama Gang and that whole notoriety that comes with the 28, it’s awful special. There are a lot of 28 fans in the Talladega area, so it’s pretty cool that we can come here and get my first pole and give those 28 fans something to cheer about.”

Casey Mears, who has Brad Keselowski standing by this weekend should he have to leave for the birth of his child, will start outside the front row in the Hendrick Motosports No. 5 Chevrolet.

“I’m so excited that it’s getting very close,” Mears said. “It doesn’t look like (Keselowski will be needed), but at this point you never know. We just want to be ready. That’s a very, very important time in my life. The last thing I want to do is miss the birth of my child. That’s definitely No. 1 on my list.”

Aric Armirola, Regan Smith and Paul Menard all from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. rounded out the top five.

Mike Wallace, Joe Nemechek, Tony Raines, Brian Vickers and Martin Turex, Jr. completed the first ten qualifiers.

Although Dale Earnhardt, Jr. turned the 15th best time in qualifying using his backup car after crashing his primary mount in Friday's practice session, he will start Sunday's race from the rear for an engine change.

Carl Edwards was the top qualifying Chase contender in 12th.

The rest of the Chasers all turned in poor qualifying laps and much like last week at Kansas Speedway, will start Sunday's race from the middle and rear of the field.

That includes Kyle Busch, who continued his disappointing Chase season by posting the 40th lap of the qualifying session.

"It didn’t go too good and don’t expect much better for tomorrow," said Busch, who won the spring race at Talladega.

Sam Hornish Jr. and Patrick Carpentier did not qualify for Sunday's race.

Sunday's AMP Energy 500 will take the green flag at 2 p.m. (ET).

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