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NASCAR

Kahne takes pole for Atlanta 500-miler

Kasey Kahne claimed the pole for the AdvoCare 500 after topping Clint Bowyer in Saturday's qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kahne turned a lap at 186.196 mph around the 1.54-mile track for his second pole of the season and the 22nd of his Sprint Cup Series career. His first pole this season came in May at Darlington.

"I was surprised a couple of guys didn't beat me," Kahne said. "Clint came really close, but other than that, nobody was too close."

Kahne started on the pole and won at Atlanta in March 2006.

Bowyer posted a lap at 185.922 mph to earn the outside pole.

"That's a good start for us," he said. "[The car] has been good as far as speed all weekend long."

Both Bowyer and Kahne are attempting to make the 12-driver field for the championship Chase, which starts on September 18 at Chicagoland Speedway. Bowyer is currently 12th in points, while Kahne sits in the 15th spot. Neither driver has won a race this season.

Kyle Busch qualified third, followed by Brian Vickers, who is Kahne's teammate at Red Bull Racing. Jeff Gordon completed the top-five.

"I just got way too loose in turn four," Busch said. "I was definitely fighting it pretty bad on the exit there."

Busch is one of four drivers who has a shot at winning $1 million for himself, his charity and one lucky fan in the "Sprint Summer Showdown" bonus program. If Busch, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose or Brad Keselowski takes the checkered flag for Sunday's 500-mile race at Atlanta, that driver will collect the cash award. The race is scheduled to start just after 7:30 p.m. (et).

Keselowski, the winner of last weekend's race at Bristol, will start 14th, while Ambrose will roll off 18th and Menard 22nd.

Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch qualified sixth through 10th, respectively.

Other notable drivers and their starting positions include: Denny Hamlin (13th), Greg Biffle (15th), Jimmie Johnson (17th), Tony Stewart (20th), Kevin Harvick (21st) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (29th). Stewart is the defending race winner.

Tony Raines, David Stremme, Geoffrey Bodine and T.J. Bell failed to qualify.

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