DOVER, Del. (AP) – David Reutimann played the Sprint Cup waiting game and again came out on top.

Reutimann ran a lap of 156.794 mph on Friday and captured the pole at Dover International Speedway, four days after he won his first career Cup race.

The victory in the Coca-Cola 600 came after three rain delays at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Reutimann then went out 11th on Friday and watched other drivers take a shot on the concrete track at trying to knock him off the pole.

Points leader Jeff Gordon challenged until the No. 24 got loose and slammed into the wall. He’ll use his backup car for Sunday’s race and start 42nd.

Once that threat was gone, Reutimann’s second pole of the season was all his.

“I’m kind of a nervous person anyway, so waiting around to see if we won the race and then waiting around to see everybody have a shot at us became nerve-racking over time,” he said.

Kasey Kahne was second and Juan Pablo Montoya qualified third. Reed Sorenson and Greg Biffle round out the top five.

Kahne used a new Dodge engine in the No. 9 to catapult him to his best start of the season.

“I can really tell the difference,” Kahne said. “The new engine is something that we’ve needed and I think that it’s going to be really good with cars around me as well.”

Reutimann captured his second pole of the season for Michael Waltrip Racing and third of his 76-race career. He also was fastest during Friday’s lone practice session. The 39-year-old journeyman driver is within six points of Mark Martin for 12th place and the last spot in the Chase for the championship.

“We need to perform and there’s always the pressure for that,” he said. “We need to get ourselves back into contention to be in the Chase. That’s our priority right there.”

Reutimann’s short week went by as quickly as one of his laps. He was busy with media requests and taking congratulatory phone calls, texts and e-mails from friends and drivers. Even Tony Stewart, who argued with Reutimann and one of his crew members during the second rain delay Monday, sent his congratulations.

“I didn’t do that for everybody to know about that, I just did it for me and him,” Stewart said.

Reutimann said winning a race in the rain was not how he expected to get his first Cup victory.

“Passing a guy coming off of (turn) four for the checkered flag and just beating them to the line,” he said. “Or starting on the pole and dominating a whole race. You name it.”

Now he’s at least in position to pull off the pole-to-checkered flag finish on Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had his best qualifying lap since Talladega and will start 22nd with team manager Brian Whitesell calling the shots. Lance McGrew takes over next week at Pocono Raceway as the interim crew chief.

Talladega winner Brad Keselowski, who worked with McGrew this weekend, did not qualify. Max Papis, Derrike Cope and David Starr also failed to make the field.

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