Kahne on Atlanta pole

Kasey Kahne grabbed the Budweiser pole for the 500-mile Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is Kahne's seventh career pole and first this season. The No. 9 Evernham Dodge team has gotten off to a gangbuster start this year, earning two...

Kasey Kahne grabbed the Budweiser pole for the 500-mile Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is Kahne's seventh career pole and first this season. The No. 9 Evernham Dodge team has gotten off to a gangbuster start this year, earning two top-fives and one top-11.

"We've got a great opportunity to do well in both cars this weekend," said Kahne, who will also run the Busch race. "It was a really good lap, I wasn't sure it was going to hold up, I thought I left a little bit out there.trying to beat Ryan Newman here, he is tough to beat here and we just got it done."

Ryan Newman was denied his seventh pole at AMS. Instead, he will take the green flag from second, "Just happy that we made some big gains. Some people thought that we were sandbagging in practice, but we weren't.we made some changes and ended up being 2/10ths off - so I am pretty happy with that."

Jeff Burton continues to impress in 2006, earning his fourth top-10 start this season with third, "It was awesome. I am qualifying challenged especially at Atlanta; this place has really been a challenge for me over the years. I told my wife last week that if we could qualify as well as we have been at Atlanta that I will really be impressed."

Bobby Labonte and JJ Yeley complete the top five.

"I am happy to end up fifth," commented Yeley. "It is a great starting spot for Sunday's race. It was a great run and our car was probably too free too shoot for the pole there and overall we were pretty surprised to get a lap that good."

Notably, Bill Lester made the field for the Golden Corral 500 marking his first NASCAR Nextel Cup series start. It is also the first time an African- American driver has started a Cup race in 20 years.

"It's overwhelming," said Lester. "It's a combination of a very long dream I have had to race at the top level of American Motorsports.doing something here that people didn't think I could do, I am so happy that Bill Davis Racing believed in me.it means a lot to me tonight."

Fifty-two cars attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field; failing to make the show were Chad Blount, Mike Skinner, Travis Kvapil, Chad Chaffin, Kenny Wallace, Stanton Barrett, Mike Garvey, Derrike Cope and Greg Sacks.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Derrike Cope , Bobby Labonte , Mike Skinner , Kenny Wallace , Ryan Newman , Chad Blount , Kasey Kahne , Bill Lester , Stanton Barrett , Mike Garvey , Travis Kvapil