Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global
Qualifying report

Denny Hamlin beats Reddick to NASCAR Cup pole at Sonoma

Denny Hamlin learned his lessons from Tyler Reddick well, edging his driver in the final round of qualifying to win the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

Pole sitter Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry

Hamlin, who co-owns Reddick’s No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota with NBA great Michael Jordan, was one of several drivers – Reddick included – who went out just before the conclusion of the 10-minute final round to make a second attempt.

After both had completed their respective laps, Hamlin supplanted Reddick at the top of the speed chart with a lap at 92.178 mph – the fastest of the day.

Reddick’s lap at 92.068 mph came up just short but enough to claim a spot on the front row over Michael McDowell who ended up at 92.060 mph.

The pole is the second of the 2023 season for Hamlin and 38th of his career. It’s just his second career pole on a road course (the other coming in 2018 at Watkins Glen, N.Y.).

“It’s definitely good,” Hamlin said. “A lot of credit goes to those guys at 23XI Racing and my team for working together on my road course skills.

“Just studying who I deem one of the best (Reddick) helps me get better.”

Christopher Bell ended up fourth and A.J. Allmendinger fifth.

Completing the top-10 starting lineup are Ty Gibbs, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez – who won this race last year – and Chase Elliott, making his first start since his one-race NASCAR suspension.

Round 1 / Group A

Several drivers waited until the last possible moment to run a second qualifying lap in the 15-minute session and it paid off for McDowell, who topped the speed chart at 92.120 mph.

Truex, who also went out late for a second lap, was second-fastest (91.739 mph) and Gibbs, who ran just one lap, was third (91.509 mph).

“I thought my lap was a little bit sloppy, there were a couple places where I missed it a little bit,” Truex said. “I think I can do a better job.”

Also advancing to the final round were Reddick and Suarez, who won this race last year.

Among those who failed to advance were Kyle Larson – who was fastest in Saturday’s practice, Alex Bowman and Kevin Harvick.

Round 1 / Group B

Hamlin set the mark early in the second 15-minute session with an average lap speed of 92.051 mph – the fastest lap of the day at the time.

Elliott was second-fastest (91.971 mph) and Buescher was third (91.953 mph).

Also advancing to the final round from Group B were Bell and Allmendinger.

Among those who failed to move on to the final round were Richard Childress Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ross Chastain.

Read Also:

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Kyle Larson leads the way in Sonoma Cup practice
Next article Johnson: Le Mans night stint in the rain was "frightening"

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global