DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) - Kasey Kahne won the pole for the Southern 500 with record run at Darlington Raceway, his fourth career pole in nine starts at the track.
Kahne had a fast lap of 181.254 mph, surpassing the mark of 180.370 Jamie McMurray set a year ago.
Kahne will be joined on the front row by Ryan Newman, who also bettered the previous record at 180.429. Defending race champion Denny Hamlin was third, Sprint Cup points leader Carl Edwards fourth and 7-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon fifth.
It was the fourth consecutive race since Darlington repaved its surface after the 2007 event that the qualifying record was broken. Greg Biffle did it in 2008 and Matt Kenseth followed in 2009. The top qualifying speed has improved by nearly 8 mph over Ward Burton's record-setting lap of 173.797 from 1996 that stood 12 years.