Every NASCAR Sprint Cup championship contender knew that starting position would be paramount at repaved Kansas Speedway, where getting to the front after the green flag drops could present a problem.
Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer will have the luxury of starting there.
Kahne, of Enumclaw, earned the pole for Sunday’s race in Kansas City, Kan., by shattering the track record with a lap of 191.360 mph, and Bowyer qualified behind Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Mark Martin in third Friday.
“That was a fast lap,” Bowyer said, basically summing up the lap turned by everyone. “It’s unreal how much that gets your attention.”
Kahne is fifth in points with five races left in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Bowyer is fourth after his win last week at Charlotte. Both of them are chasing leader Brad Keselowski, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.
Keselowski will be one of the drivers trying to meander their way through the field over the repaved surface after qualifying 25th. The only Chase driver to qualify worse was three-time champion Tony Stewart, will start 33rd for Sunday’s race.
Vancouver, Wash., native Greg Biffle, who is sixth in the points standings, will start 11th.
All 43 cars in the field broke Matt Kenseth’s previous track record of 180.856 mph set in 2005.
GEORGE RESIGNS FROM HULMAN & CO. BOARD
IndyCar founder Tony George resigned from the Hulman & Co. board of directors, citing a conflict of interest in his recent attempt to reacquire the series.
IndyCar is owned by the Hulman-George family, which has owned Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1945. The series is governed by the Hulman & Co. board of directors.
Hulman & Co., through president and CEO Jeff Belskus, reiterated Friday that IndyCar is not for sale.
NASCAR driver Ryan Newman will be reunited with crew chief Matt Borland starting with next week’s race at Martinsville. Borland and Newman spent five seasons together from 2002-2006 at Penske Racing, where they won 12 races and 37 poles. … Richard Petty Motorsports and Ford Racing said they will partner for a fourth consecutive season in 2013.