Hamlin claims third Sprint Cup pole at Dover

Not a single Hendrick car made it to the final round of qualifying.

Denny Hamlin claimed the pole for his primary sponsor's race, Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway. He did so by posting a 22.483-second/160.121 mph lap in the third of three rounds of qualifying on Friday. It's his first pole of 2015 but his third at the Monster Mile.

"Great weekend for everyone at FedEx," Hamlin said. "That's the pit stall I wanted," crew chief Dave Rogers told his driver.

Hamlin will be joined on the front row by Martin Truex Jr. on Sunday. Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth will line up in the second row after qualifying third and fourth.

"I didn't think it was going to hold. Just slid the nose too much for some reason. Tighter there, both ends," said Truex after his run.

Larson and Truex each spent time atop the scoring pylon as provisional pole sitters in the final round before Hamlin claimed the top spot as the clock struck zero.

"We did a lot of testing here, and we didn't change a whole lot on our cars," added Hamlin, who took part in a Goodyear tire test here.

One team of note that failed to put a single car in round three was the mighty Hendrick Motorsports operation. Jimmie Johnson, after being fastest in practice earlier in the day, was the highest-qualifying of the fleet in 14th.

"Missed it a little here in qualifying, but we'll be just fine," Johnson said. "This morning's practice session was so much different."

Joe Gibbs Racing, on the other hand, put all four of their cars in the final round. In addition to Hamlin's pole and Matt Kenseth in fourth, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch posted times quick enough to put them eighth and tenth.

Other drivers advancing to the final round and taking positions inside the top twelve for Sunday's race include Joey Logano in fifth, Kevin Harvick in sixth, Greg Biffle in seventh, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in ninth, Jamie McMurray in 11th and Austin Dillon 12th.

Two drivers failed to make the race -- Travis Kvapil and Jeff Green.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Dover
Track Dover International Speedway
Drivers Martin Truex Jr. , Denny Hamlin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Qualifying report