With a fast car and a fortuitous mass of cumulus to help cool Kentucky Speedway during Friday's time trials, Earnhardt put together a track-record, pole-winning run for Saturday night's Quaker State 400, the 17th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event of the season. It was the eighth track qualifying record set this year.
Earnhardt sped around the 1.5-mile track at 183.636 mph to edge Carl Edwards (183.306 mph), who was one slight twitch off Turn 2 away from challenging for the top starting spot. Jimmie Johnson (183.144 mph) qualified third, followed by 2011 Kentucky winner Kyle Busch (182.593 mph) and Marcos Ambrose (182.587 mph).
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