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Kahne tops in Talladega qualifying

Talladega, AL (Sports Network) - Kasey Kahne claimed the pole for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 -- the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship -- after posting the quickest lap in Saturday's qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway.

Kahne, who is one of the 12 drivers in the Chase field, turned a lap at 191.455 mph for his third pole of the season and the 25th of his Sprint Cup Series career. It will be the first time he starts up front for a race at this 2.66-mile superspeedway.

"It's fun to get my first pole at Talladega," Kahne said. "It's a tough track, and I've never done that. (The car) felt good, and we'll see how it runs tomorrow. It ran great (in practice) yesterday and really well today."

Ryan Newman, who is not in the Chase this year, secured the outside pole with a lap at 191.145 mph.

Title contenders Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon qualified third through sixth, respectively. Bowyer has won the last two fall Sprint Cup races at Talladega.

"I thought we were going to qualify poorly, and we didn't," Bowyer said. "We're in the top-five and certainly up front, and we need to try to stay there and stay out of trouble. Certainly going to race up there as much as I can until something crazy happens."

Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr., a Chase driver, and Sam Hornish Jr. completed the top-10.

The remaining Chase drivers and their starting positions include: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (12th), Matt Kenseth (15th), Jimmie Johnson (17th), Kevin Harvick (21st), Brad Keselowski (22nd) and Denny Hamlin (23rd).

Keselowski currently holds a five-point lead over Johnson and a 16-point advantage over Hamlin. Bowyer is 25 markers out of the lead, while Stewart and Kahne both trail by 32. Keselowski has won two of the first three Chase races. He also won the spring event at Talladega in May.

"The best strategy is to be the guy who doesn't wreck, but you don't know until after the race," Keselowski said. "Things happen so fast late in the race here that even the best strategy can get thrown out the window. I just want to be there with five laps to go."

All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field for Sunday's 500-mile race at Talladega, which is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. (ET).

10/06 15:40:26 ET


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