Kahne, Montoya take top spots at Bristol qualifying

Updated: August 25, 2007, 10:57 AM ET
Associated Press

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Kasey Kahne won the pole at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday, edging rival Dodge driver Juan Pablo Montoya for the top starting spot.

Kahne ran a lap of 119.805 mph to win the pole, the first since Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr. became co-owner of Kahne's team. It was Kahne's first pole since Las Vegas in March, 20 races ago.

"A great start to the weekend, we need stuff like this to go on. It's been kind of a rough season," said Kahne, who won six races last season but is winless this year and 27th in the points.

Montoya was second at 119.447 in his second trip to Bristol's tricky .533-mile bull ring. He credited his slight familiarity with the track and the improvement of his Chip Ganassi Racing team for the strong qualifying run.

"The team is just stepping it up every week, and we're running stronger and stronger," Montoya said. "This is a nice disappointment. Some days you are disappointed when you qualify 35th, and now I'm disappointed because I'm second."

Jamie McMurray qualified third, and rookie David Ragan was fourth as Roush Fenway Racing put two of its Fords at the front of the grid for Saturday night's race. Dave Blaney was fifth in a Toyota.

Carl Edwards, another Roush driver, was sixth, followed by Ryan Newman, Ricky Rudd, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton.

Kurt Busch, who's holding down the 12th and final spot in the Chase for the championship standings, qualified 19th. The five-time Bristol winner has a 163-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified 17th.

There are three races to go until the Chase begins, and the battle is currently for 12th place. Newman, Busch's teammate at Penske Racing, is right behind Earnhardt in the race for the final berth. He trails Busch by 171 points.

Michael Waltrip made his second straight race, qualifying 16th. Teammate Dale Jarrett also made the field -- qualifying 33rd -- but David Reutimann failed to make it 3-for-3 for the team when he wasn't fast enough to make the field.

Also qualifying on speed were Scott Riggs, Ward Burton, Bill Elliott, John Andretti, Jeremy Mayfield and A.J. Allmendinger.

Missing the race, in addition to Reutimann, were Sterling Marlin, Brian Vickers, Kevin Lepage and Stanton Barrett.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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