Kahne races to Martinsville pole

MARTINSVILLE, VA - MARCH 31:  Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, signs the Coors Light Pole board after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 31, 2012 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)

MARTINSVILLE, VA - MARCH 31: Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, signs the Coors Light Pole board after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 31, 2012 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Kasey Kahne is the first two-time pole winner of the season in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series after he posted the fastest lap in qualifying Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

Kahne, who also started first at Las Vegas, toured the 0.526-mile oval at 97.126 mph, depriving Kevin Harvick of a sweep of weekend qualifying at the track. Harvick, who won the pole for Saturday's truck series race earlier, had a run at 97.048.

The pole is the 24th of Kahne's career and gives him a chance to improve on his 27th-place standing in the points race.

The top five also includes Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman, followed by Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano.

Defending series champion Tony Stewart will start 15th.


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