Kahne On Dodge Charger 500 Pole

Not many drivers can say they have Darlington Raceway figured out, but Kasey Kahne seems to have a handle on the place.

Kahne scored his third Bud Pole pole in as many Darlington attempts on Friday afternoon as he earned the top spot for the Dodge Charger 500. Kahne didn't get the chance to qualify for the 2004 fall race as it was rained out and the lineup was set by points.

Kahne's lap of 169.013 mph was the quickest of the session and good enough for his third pole of the season.

That could mean bad news for the rest of the field as Kahne's two wins this year both came after pole winning performances. In fact, Kahne's first career Cup win at Richmond last year also came after he won the pole position.

"I just love qualifying here," said Kahne, who captured his ninth career Bud Pole. "I've had some great Dodges to qualify here, so it's great we got another pole. Both of our wins have been from the pole this season, so maybe we can make it three for three."

Ryan Newman will join Kahne on the outside of the front row, duplicating the front row from the 2005 edition of the race.

"We were a little too loose balance wise. It was a great effort, but it would take a perfect effort to beat Kasey," Newman said.

Clint Bowyer, David Stremme and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Stremme's lap of 167.727 mph was good enough to get his first top-15 starting position of his rookie season.

"We just wanted a solid starting spot." said Stremme, who sits outside the top 35 in owners points. "From here on out we've got to change things, and I think we can do that. I love Darlington. It's a drivers' track."

Elliott Sadler, Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, defending race winner Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch completed the top 10.

Six-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon qualified 12th.

Series points leader, and two-time Darlington winner, Jimmie Johnson will start 25th.
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