By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
Kasey Kahne went out to qualify 11th of the 46 cars that attempted to make the Price Chopper 400 Friday, and he put down a very impressive lap. 174.644 mph was the speed, which was just quick enough for Kahne’s third pole of 2010. After qualifying it was apparent the pole isn’t all that is on Kahne’s mind, he is looking for much more on Sunday.
“It feels good to win the pole, hopefully it will give us some momentum for Sunday, and we can carry it,” Kahne said.
Kahne’s teammate Paul Menard was just 31-thousandths of a second slower than him and will start from the outside of row one Sunday. Kahne admitted that he was a little nervous about his chances at the pole, while watching Menard’s lap.
“We weren’t great in practice so we knew we needed to make adjustments to the car. Kenny Francis and Keith did a really nice job. Coming to the green I felt great. I got through one and two really good and got a little free in three and missed the entrance a touch,” Kahne explained. “I was able to gather it back and get rolling but I gave away a little bit of time there and I noticed Paul Menard gained a lot there at three. Going out late he came really close to clipping us off. I am glad we got the pole for Budweiser and for Ford. It will be exciting to have a couple RPM guys on the front row on Sunday. That is really nice for the whole company.”
Menard mentioned after his qualifying run that his team focused solely on qualifying trim in practice Friday, but he was obviously ecstatic about Richard Petty Motorsports sweeping the front row.
“It is really cool. Hopefully they will stay up there for the rest of today and all day Sunday,” Menard said.
Jeff Gordon is the highest starting chaser for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway as he will roll off the grid in third. For Gordon third felt just as good as a pole.
“And the way we’ve been qualifying lately, we just have not been qualifying good and it’s something we’ve put a lot of effort in and today finally things went our way and man, that’s like a pole to me right now,” Gordon said following his run.
Joey Logano and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five in qualifying.
Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle will start near the front, but the rest of the Chase contenders are spread throughout the remainder of the field.
There were three Fords that qualified inside the top-five, and seven will start from the top-15. The Fords proved Friday that they are putting out some huge horsepower at this pivotal part of the season.
The surprise of the session were the strong runs put in by Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte. Elliott will start 11th in the no. 21 Woods Brothers Ford, while Labonte will start 17th.
46 cars took to the track to attempt to be one of the 43 that will start on Sunday. As a result three drivers unfortunately have to go home early. Those drivers are: Joe Nemechek, Mike Bliss, and Jason Leffler.
Here is where all of the 2010 Chase Contenders will start
Jeff Gordon (2nd)
Greg Biffle (5th)
Matt Kenseth (8th)
Kurt Busch (9th)
Denny Hamlin (12th)
Tony Stewart (14th)
Kyle Busch (19th)
Jimmie Johnson (21st)
Jeff Burton (23rd)
Kevin Harvick (24th)
Clint Bowyer (27th)
Carl Edwards (31st)