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Hamlin wins pole in Pocono

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Friday, June 06, 2014

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Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway (1 p.m. ET, TNT).

Hamlin posted a lap of 181.415 mph in the final round of qualifying to edge Kurt Busch for the pole position. For Hamlin, this is his second Coors Light Pole Award this season, the 19th of his career and the third of his career at Pocono. Hamlin also has four wins at the 2.5-mile track.
Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick will start in Row 2, with Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch set to start in Row 3.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will line up eighth.

Tony Stewart was the third Stewart-Haas driver to earn a top-12 starting spot and will come off the grid 12th.

Jimmie Johnson, the defending race winner and the winner of the past two Sprint Cup races, did not advance to the final round of qualifying.

Among the notable drivers to not make it past the first round of qualifying were Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne.

A red flag was displayed with about nine minutes left in Round 1 of the three-round qualifying. Dave Blaney spun in Turn 1.

All 43 cars entered in the race advanced to Sunday's main event.

There are two practice sessions scheduled for Saturday. The first will begin 9 a.m. ET and last for 60 minutes with final practice beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET and running for 50 minutes.

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position:  1st
How were you able to get the top qualifying position for Sunday’s race?
“It’s a tough balance, but we really just made the car a lot better.  Each session our balance got a little bit better and we were able to get a little bit more speed out of it.  That’s kind of what you want to do, play it enough in the first few rounds to get to the final round where you go all out.  Good job by our FedEx Ground Toyota team.  We didn’t test up here, we’re one of the only teams that didn’t test, but it’s good to at least have a good Friday.”

Do you feel good so far this weekend about racing at Pocono given your previous success?
“The race track is just so different, you might as well just rename the race track -- it's just not the same as it used to be.  Really the setups are completely different, the way you drive it, the technique is similar, it’s just you use so much more throttle than you used to.  It’s good to get a track record and have that number one pit stall -- that will pay dividends on Sunday.  I have the best pit crew on pit road.  Hopefully this lends itself to a great win on Sunday.”

Will a driver who starts deep in the field on Sunday be a factor for the race win?
“Yeah, maybe not at the beginning for the first half, but certainly after.  Pit strategy really gets jumbled around here a lot to where it causes people to play strategies and it allows you to pass cars on pit road, not necessarily as much on the race track.  I think where a lot of the race winners they’ve had great and fast cars and I remember each one of those too, (Jeff) Gordon and (Kasey) Kahne, they had very, very fast cars.  When you have some pit strategy that can leap frog you past all those cars it makes things a lot easier.  You definitely can’t count anyone out.  As long as they have a fast car, and get it right on Saturday, typically it makes your job a little harder on Sunday and they need cautions to fall their way here and there to find strategy that will put them up front at some point.”

Results

Pos # Driver Make Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 181.415 49.610 Leader
2 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Haas Automation 181.408 49.612 +0.002
3 2 Brad Keselowski Ford Redd's 181.316 49.637 +0.027
4 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 180.832 49.770 +0.160
5 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 180.513 49.858 +0.248
6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M Peanut Butter 180.458 49.873 +0.263
7 22 Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil 179.827 50.048 +0.438
8 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet National Guard 179.565 50.121 +0.511
9 55 Brian Vickers Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 179.548 50.126 +0.516
10 99 Carl Edwards Ford Kellogg's / Cheez-it 179.383 50.172 +0.562
11 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Dow 179.326 50.188 +0.578
12 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet -Mobil 1/ Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 179.126 50.244 +0.634
13 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 179.258 50.207 +0.597
14 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target 179.229 50.215 +0.605
15 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet WIX Filters 179.072 50.259 +0.649
16 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy 179.051 50.265 +0.655
17 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet Furniture Row 178.976 50.286 +0.676
18 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Cushman/Cessna 178.919 50.302 +0.692
19 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota RK Motors Charlotte 178.777 50.342 +0.732
20 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 178.678 50.370 +0.760
21 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Clorox 178.288 50.480 +0.870
22 43 Aric Almirola Ford Nathan's Famous 178.144 50.521 +0.911
23 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Moen / Menards 178.031 50.553 +0.943
24 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet BRANDT Professional Agriculture 177.288 50.765 +1.155
25 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 178.045 50.549 +0.939
26 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General 177.968 50.571 +0.961
27 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Great Clips 177.908 50.588 +0.978
28 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford Zest 177.830 50.610 +1.000
29 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 177.162 50.801 +1.191
30 7 Michael Annett Chevrolet Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 176.308 51.047 +1.437
31 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Newtown Building Supplies Inc. 176.025 51.129 +1.519
32 34 David Ragan Ford Taco Bell 175.922 51.159 +1.549
33 32 Travis Kvapil Ford CorvetteParts.net 175.867 51.175 +1.565
34 23 Alex Bowman Toyota Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry 175.675 51.231 +1.621
35 38 David Gilliland Ford Long John Silver's 175.613 51.249 +1.639
36 36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Theme Park Connection 174.958 51.441 +1.831
37 98 Josh Wise Chevrolet Phil Parsons Racing 174.747 51.503 +1.893
38 44 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet All City Leasing & Warehousing 173.970 51.733 +2.123
39 66 Timmy Hill Toyota Land Castle Title 173.260 51.945 +2.335
40 26 Cole Whitt Toyota Burger King Toyota Camry 172.808 52.081 +2.471
41 83 Ryan Truex Toyota Burger King Toyota Camry 172.453 52.188 +2.578
42 33 Alex Kennedy Chevrolet Dream Factory 169.693 53.037 +3.427
43 77 Dave Blaney Ford Amy R Fochler Veterans Law Att. 0.000 0.000 +49.610

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