Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent
Greg Biffle made a lap around Kansas Speedway from behind the wheel of his No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in 30.877 seconds on Friday to claim the pole starting spot for the Hollywood 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to be held at the track on Sunday.
I’m so proud of my team going from 35th to the pole.
“I’m happy that we got a great lap,” Biffle said. “We were 35th off the truck. I’m so proud of my team going from 35th to the pole.”
Carl Edwards claimed the other front row starting spot with a lap time of 30.933 seconds in the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford to give the organization its fourth front row sweep of 2011.
“Our Roush Fords are good,” Edwards said. “It’s a good sign.”
Kyle Busch turned in the third-fastest qualifying lap, with a time of 30.955 seconds in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Twenty cars into the qualifying session, Kevin Harvick had possession of the provisional pole after posting a 31.103-second lap in the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, and Brian Vickers was alongside on the front row in the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota after posting a lap time of 31.105 seconds. They gradually got shuffled outside the top-10, with Harvick claiming the 14th starting position and Vickers 15th.
Harvick held on to the provisional pole, though, until he was knocked from the top spot by Brad Keselowski’s 31.031-second lap in the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge.
“It wasn’t great,” Keselowski said soon after his attempt. “I guess it’ll be somewhere in the top-15 or top-20.”
Keselowski didn’t hold the provisional pole for long. Denny Hamlin went out just a few cars later and turned a lap at 30.995 seconds in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Hamlin was the first driver to turn in a lap of under 31 seconds. By the end of qualifying, Hamlin was seventh and Keselowski 12th.
“We got our car a little better than we were in practice,” Hamlin said.
Edwards took his turn at the top of the scoring pylon with 15 cars left to make qualifying attempts, with one of those being his teammate, Biffle. Even though those remaining 15 cars were the 15 fastest cars in practice, Biffle was the only one to better Edwards’ time.
Matt Kenseth, another Rough Fenway Racing driver, in the No. 17 Ford, gave the organization a three-car presence in the top-five by claiming the fourth spot on the starting grid with a lap time of 30.957.
Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five by qualifying fifth with a lap time of 30.961 in the No. 4 Red Bull Racing Toyota.
Forty-six cars made qualifying attempts for 43 positions. Three drivers unable to get into the race on speed were David Starr, Josh Wise and Mike Skinner.