Allmendinger wins pole for Sprint Cup at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A.J. Allmendinger is not a patient man. He stepped into the seat of former Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch in Penske Racing's No. 22 Dodge and is anxious to reward the team's confidence in him.

Allmendinger took a big step toward gaining acceptance on Saturday when he won the pole for today's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Allmendinger turned a lap of 175.993 and edged Kevin Harvick, who was second at 175.747 in a Chevrolet.

Allmendinger, 31, spent his first five Sprint Cup seasons with second-tier teams and has not won a race in 159 starts. Busch won 10 races in his six seasons with Penske, so the opportunity is there.

Harvick, who is fifth in points, has not won at Kansas Speedway in 12 starts and he's never qualified better than 10th at the track.

Joey Logano, the first driver to make a qualifying run, was third-fastest at 175.724 mph in a Toyota but must start from the rear because of an engine change during Friday's practice session. Denny Hamlin, Logano's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, claimed the fourth starting spot at 175.667.

"We're still smiling until I have to start last; that's when my smile is going to wipe away, and I have to get to work," Logano said.

Clint Bowyer of Emporia qualified eighth (175.302), Carl Edwards of Columbia was 21st (174.244) and Jamie McMurray of Joplin was 36th (173.182).

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