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Kobalt Tools 400: Kasey Kahne Sets Track Record, Wins Las Vegas Pole

At the track where he grabbed his first career pole in 2004, Kasey Kahne won his 23rd Friday in record-breaking fashion. His No. 5 Chevrolet toured the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 28.35 seconds and will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400. It is Kahne's first pole in his third qualifying attempt with Hendrick Motorsports. Five of Kahne's 12 wins have come from the pole.

Vegas native Kyle Busch was second, ahead of Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Clint Bowyer. The top-10 was completed by Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, and Martin Truex Jr.

Defending race champion Carl Edwards nearly crashed on his first lap, making an incredible save exiting the second turn and wound up qualifying 21st. Denny Hamlin, winner last weekend at Phoenix, was 17th while Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth was 11th (a flip-flop of car numbers for Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 machine, and Kenseth, who races No. 17).

The top-15 qualifiers broke Kenseth's one-year-old track record of 28.589 seconds.

Two drivers failed to qualify for Sunday's race, Scott Riggs and Robby Gordon. Timmy Hill was 42nd-quickest and will make his Sprint Cup debut.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.