Monday, November 22, 2010

Kasey Kahne Wins Pole for NASCAR Finale, Jimmie Johnson Leads Contenders

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Kasey Kahne won the pole position for Sunday's Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, while four-time defending Cup champ Jimmie Johnson's sixth-place effort was best of the three drivers vying for the season championship.

Kahne's No. 83 Red Bull Toyota turned a lap of 176.904 mph around the 1.5-mile oval, bettering Carl Edwards' Ford and Jamie McMurray's Chevrolet. (Kahne is shown at right checking times during qualifying).

But as significant as who will be starting up front is who won't be. Championship points leader Denny Hamlin, who holds a tenuous 15-point edge over Johnson, will start 37th in the 43-car field. Kevin Harvick, who trails Hamlin by 46 points, will roll off 28th.

"It was tough ... but our car is gonna be fine tomorrow,'' Hamlin said. "We know that. This is a track you can pass (at). We're looking forward to that part of it. Friday has just never been our strong suit and so we gotta battle back again."

Harvick, who has started better then 20th only one time since August, didn't appear overly concerned with his starting position. He finished third at Martinsville, Va., last month after starting 36th and was runner-up at Las Vegas despite starting 34th.

"I thought we might have been a little better, but not much,'' said Harvick, who drives the No.. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy. "Everybody on the car did a really good job. ... We've been talking about where we want to pit here, the same thing we do every week.

"Our car was very comfortable in race trim and we are ready to go.''


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