SONOMA, Calif. -- The 43-car field in this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway will include only four previous winners at the curvy road course.
Next year, Kasey Kahne hopes to make it five.
Kahne drove the fastest lap in qualifying on the 1.99-mile Infineon layout Friday to earn the pole position for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Already a two-time winner this season, Kahne ignored triple-digit temperatures and posted a lap of 92.153 mph in his No. 9 Dodge for Gillett Evernham Motorsports.
"I came in today feeling like we had a good shot, but winning a pole at Infineon is tougher than it sounds," he said. "To get the pole is very special at these tracks."
Reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who has never won at Infineon, was second at 92.040 mph and will start his No. 48 Chevrolet on the outside of the front row for Hendrick Motorsports.
Kurt Busch of Penske Racing was third, Bobby Labonte of Petty Enterprises was fourth and Johnson teammate Jeff Gordon, the only five-time winner at Infineon, will start fifth.
Another former winner, Robby Gordon of Orange, qualified eighth.
But the two other former winners struggled in qualifying for this year's 110-lap race on the 10-turn course.
Juan Pablo Montoya, who won his first and only Cup race at Sonoma in 2007, was 21st. However, the former open-wheel racer started 32nd last year and still won on fuel strategy.
And two-time Infineon winner Tony Stewart qualified 39th in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
"We definitely don't want to start deep in the field like that because it makes for a long day," said a frustrated Stewart. "You have to fight the whole day."
Drivers whose cars were among the top 35 in owners' points this season automatically made the race, regardless of their drivers' qualifying times.
But the remaining drivers did have to qualify on their speeds, and one was Boris Said of Carlsbad, a road-course specialist and part-time Cup driver. He will start 14th in a Ford.
Carl Edwards, who qualified 12th, said "the heat has made the car really slide around. It's a lot of fun. I hope it's this hot on Sunday." But the Sunday forecast calls high temperatures to slip back to the 80s.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finally broke a two-year winless streak last weekend at Michigan, qualified 15th.
"I don't really run that well here so I'm just hoping to get through the weekend," he said. "I did the best I could. We got to find a little more speed."
Jeff Burton, who qualified 20th and is second in Cup points, was asked if rookies learn early not to crash into Earnhardt, NASCAR's most popular driver.
"The reality of it is Junior is really good to race with," Burton said. "He's very respectful. But you can't worry about how you race Junior because of the fans. You race Junior based on how he races you."
Caterpillar Inc. will become the primary sponsor of Burton's No. 31 Chevrolet next year, replacing AT&T, under a deal announced by Caterpillar and Richard Childress Racing.
Caterpillar has been the main sponsor of Bill Davis Racing's No. 22 car, now a Toyota driven by Dave Blaney, for the past decade.
NASCAR SPRINT CUP
What: Toyota/Save Mart 350
When: Sunday, 2 p.m., TNT
Where: Sonoma, Calif.