Rookie sensation Kasey Kahne earned his fourth Bud pole of the season, making him the series leader in top starting spots. Kahne's lap of 172.533 mph broke the track qualifying record set by Tony Stewart in 2000 (172.391 mph). "We tested up...
Rookie sensation Kasey Kahne earned his fourth Bud pole of the season, making him the series leader in top starting spots. Kahne's lap of 172.533 mph broke the track qualifying record set by Tony Stewart in 2000 (172.391 mph).
"We tested up there last week and it went pretty good," Kahne said. "We learned a lot about the car we tested so we can bring a better car to the race. I like Pocono because of the difference corners. And I think the shifting will make it interesting."
"Bill Elliott has always been good at Pocono, and he's given me a lot of pointers. He's helping me learn how to get through the corners. He's got great insight on how to each corner is different and how I need to get through it."
Fellow rookie, Brian Vickers, grabbed the outside pole with his lap of 172.308 mph. It marks his fourth top-three start of the season.
"It's great to have two Hendrick cars in the top five," said Vickers. "We really figured out the set-up and look forward to having a good day on Sunday."
The No. 01 Chevy team of Joe Nemechek scored third posting a lap of 172.183 mph.
"We're capable of winning this race," said Nemechek. "You know, my mother (Martha) and I get so many e-mails from soldiers around the world telling us how they look forward to watching our car during the telecasts of the NASCAR races. And in many locations, the races don't come on until the middle of the night."
Last week's race winner, Mark Martin, was fourth in the No. 6 Roush Ford with a lap of 171.884 mph.
"It feels great to come here and keep the momentum we have coming off a race win," said Martin. "Nobody works harder than this team."
Jimmie Johnson completes the top five finishers, with a lap of 171.825 mph.
"These guys just amaze me week after week," Johnson said. "I always have a great car."
Late qualifiers were out of luck, as the cloud cover cleared and the weather warmed up nearly 10-degrees for the last 26 racers. Earlier draws clearly had an advantage, as times began to peter off as the sun began to shine.
Several drivers encountered difficulties qualifying at the 2.5-mile tri- oval. Scott Riggs brushed the wall and spun the No. 10 Chevy, and Jeff Burton, running the new Ford D-3 engine, blew-up before taking his time trial effort. The engine failure caused a brief delay in qualifying ensued, as NASCAR cleaned the fluid laid down by the No. 99 Roush Ford.
The deer seemed attracted to motor oil today, as one lone doe halted the action during morning practice. She returned with four laps left in qualifying, stopping time trial laps once again, as NASCAR officials tried to remove the deer from the turn 1 wall.