Kahne Stays Hot, Wins from the Pole at Pocono
Polesitter Kasey Kahne recovered from missing lug nuts that dropped him to the back of the field -- and weathered myriad strategic ploys from his rivals -- to win Sunday's Pocono 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
The victory was Kahne's second of the season and the ninth of his career in 158 starts, but it wasn't as easy as Kahne's 3.702-second margin of victory over Brian Vickers might suggest.
After a restart on Lap 182 of the 200-lap event, Kahne passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Lap 183 and Vickers on Lap 185 to take the lead for the final time.
Denny Hamlin ran third, followed by Earnhardt and Jeff Burton, who trimmed the series points lead of 43rd-place finisher Kyle Busch to 21 points.
Kasey Kahne Roars to Pocono Pole
As the first car on the track, Jimmie Johnson went out and laid down a qualifying lap that many drivers thought was “untouchable.” Then Kasey Kahne went out later in the session and touched it - on his way by. Kahne captured the Coors Light Pole for Sunday’s Pocono 500 with a fast lap of 52.873 seconds, at an average speed of 170.219 mph.
Kahne, who has been on a hot streak since winning the fan vote and the All-Star race in Charlotte, nailed down his 15th pole in 158 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his first pole of the season. His previous best start was second at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Kahne now has eight top-10 starts this season.
This is Kahne’s second pole and sixth top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. His previous pole came in June of 2004, which was a track qualifying record of 172.533 mph.
Jimmie Johnson had to settle for the second starting spot, notching his 11th top-10 start of 2008 and 10th at Pocono.
Mark Martin qualified in the third spot, capturing his sixth top-10 start of 2008 and 29th at Pocono.
Regan Smith (fourth) was the fastest-qualifying rookie, while Joe Nemechek (fifth) was the fastest of those drivers required to make the field on time.
NASCAR Newscast: Pocono Review
Kasey Kahne continued his hot streak with a second win in three races. Meanwhile, Kyle Busch's weekend of three races in three states came to a crashing halt.
Video: Post-Race News Conferences at Pocono
Kasey Kahne talks about winning at Pocono
(34 seconds) [Watch Video]
Kasey Kahne talks about his team's turnaround
(49 seconds) [Watch Video]
Kenny Francis explains how Kasey Kahne and a strong car bailed him out of an early pit call
(50 seconds) [Watch Video]
Brian Vickers talks about the improvement at Team Red Bull from last year
(26 seconds) [Watch Video]
Denny Hamlin says he had a third-place car and couldn't challenge for the win
(26 seconds) [Watch Video]
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