Kahne Earns Talladega Pole
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on October 6, 2012 | 2:35 P.M. EST
Kahne won his 25th career pole.
TALLADEGA, Ala. – Kasey Kahne put his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on the pole when he took the top spot for Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
It was Kahne’s first career restrictor plate track pole as well as the third of the season and 25th of his career.
“It means I’m going to start first, that’s it,” Kahne cracked about earning the number one starting position for Sunday’s race. “I think it means I will try to lead the first lap and just try to get that extra bonus point. If we are up there we might as well stay there and try to lead the most laps if we can. There will be a lot of lead changes I’d expect. So if you could lead the most laps get another point.”
Kahne believes he has a chance to gain some spots and valuable points in the championship race on Sunday.
“To me it is just all about getting as many points as possible from here out,” he said. “If we relax and wait in the back and try to stay out of something I think we just really need to race and race hard. We are a long ways back right now so if we can’t make points up at a track like this then we are probably not going to make those points up.”
Ryan Newman will start outside the front row in his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.
“We come here with the impression that we’re bringing the best car with all the things that we know that are fastest, so trying things in practice is just trying things,” said Newman. “We had the confidence to know that we were competitive and we were and we’ll see how it shakes out in the race versus qualifying. If we can be in that same group of top two-to-five, with five to go, then we’ve done our job.”
Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five.
“I’m blown away, shocked that we were top-three,” said Bowyer, who has won the last two October Talladega races.
“We haven’t been qualifying very good on these restrictor-plate tracks and today it caught me off guard,” he said. “Going into today my whole plan for the weekend was I kind of figured that we were going to qualify poorly and ride around in the back. We’re in the front and I’m going to try to stay there.”
Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. completed the first ten qualifiers.
Other Chase drivers qualified further back in the field including Brad Keselowski (22nd), Jimmie Johnson (17th) and Denny Hamlin (23rd).
Motor Racing Network’s live coverage of Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 goes on the air at 1 p.m. (ET).