DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — David Gilliland might have summed up Daytona qualifying best.

“It’s uncontrolled chaos out there,” Gilliland said Friday after landing the pole in a rain-shortened and somewhat hairy session that set the field for the Coke Zero 400 tonight at Daytona International Speedway.

His top speed during a hectic, cat-and-mouse qualifying session was 199.322 mph, earning him his third Sprint Cup pole and first since landing the top spot for the 2007 Daytona 500. All three of his poles have been at restrictor-plate races, the first coming at Talladega in 2006.

“Our strong point is definitely speedway racing,” said Gilliland, who was third in the 2011 Daytona 500. “The restrictor-plate tracks are good equalizers.”

The top 24 drivers Friday in the first knockout stage were supposed to advance to the next round, but rain prompted NASCAR to cancel the final two sessions.

Reed Sorenson qualified second, followed by Landon Cassill, Bobby Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will attempt to become the sixth driver to sweep both annual races at NASCAR’s most famous track tonight, was seventh.Kase

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  • Kahne nipped Regan Smith at the Daytona
  • finish line Friday night for his first Nationwide Series victory since 2007. Kahne weaved his way through traffic during a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish, but didn’t appear to be in the mix for a shot at the win as Smith pulled away from the pack. But as the field hurtled through the final turn, Kyle Larson jumped out of line and made it three-wide behind Smith. Kahne moved into the top lane, and, using a push from Ryan Sieg, charged alongside Smith and beat him to the line by .021 seconds.

US tennis player Duval, 18, treated for cancer

LONDON — Victoria Duval, an 18-year-old American tennis player, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma but expects to make a full recovery within months after undergoing treatment for the cancer.

Duval, who lost in the second round at Wimbledon last week, was diagnosed after a biopsy was taken in England before Wimbledon. Further tests in the United States confirmed the results, her management team said Friday.

  • In the NHL, the Ottawa Senators signed veteran center David Legwand to a $6 million, two-year contract on Friday. He split last season between Nashville and Detroit, with 51 points in 83 games. ... Vancouver re-signed forward Zack Kassian and defenseman Yannick Weber. Kassian, who had 29 points last season, signed a $3.5 million, two-year deal with the Canucks.
  • Sky Kingdom returned from nearly a year’s layoff to win the $83,850 American Flag Stakes by three-quarters of a length at Los Alamitos (California) on Friday. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Sky Kingdom ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.32 and paid $13.40, $5.40 and $3.60. The 5-year-old horse was making his first start since last Aug. 31 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, a University of Arizona grad.