Earnhardt wins pole at Dover
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. can pick up his pursuit of Matt Kenseth from out front.
Earnhardt showed a rare burst of top qualifying speed, turning a track-record lap of 161.849 mph to win the pole Friday at Dover International Speedway.
Earnhardt won his second pole of the season, the first time he has multiple poles since 2002.
Chase for the Sprint Cup championship drivers filled the top four spots and eight of the top 12. Kenseth, the points leader and winner of the first two Chase races, joins Earnhardt on the front row. Ryan Newman is third and Carl Edwards fourth.
Earnhardt's run marked the 17th time this season drivers have set qualifying records in the new Gen-6 car.
Earnhardt is in 11th place in the 13-driver field. He's not out of it, but certainly not a legitimate championship contender. He needs a hot streak in the No. 88 Chevrolet — and for Kenseth and the rest of field to considerably cool.
With that option pretty much a long shot, Earnhardt is determined to win at least one race this season.
"I'd be really disappointed if we don't win a race this season, because I think we're a better team than we were last year," he said. "We came close so many times. We'd just like to go out there and get some trophies."