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Tony Stewart claims rare pole at Atlanta

- Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2012

HAMPTON, GA. (AP) - Defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has claimed the pole for Sunday night's NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart turned a fast lap of 186.121 mph Friday night to take his first pole of the season and second of his career at the 1.54-mile tri-oval. He also was on the pole at Atlanta for the season finale in 2002, setting him up to clinch the first of his three Cup titles.

Greg Biffle (185.648) will start on the outside of the front row for the AdvoCare 500. Kyle Busch (185.493) and Matt Kenseth (185.319) took spots on the second row.

Michael McDowell, Josh Wise, Stephen Leicht and Mike Bliss failed to make the 43-car field.

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