Hamlin grabs Richmond pole

Denny Hamlin will start off pole at NASCAR's last race before the Chase

Denny Hamlin starts off pole at NASCAR’s last race before the Chase

Denny Hamlin will start from the point at NASCAR’s final “Regular Season” race of the season at Richmond.

The Virginia native took his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to his first pole of the season, third at his home track and 24th of his Sprint Cup career.

“It’s nice to finally win one,” said Hamlin.

“I didn’t think our car was actually that good but we had speed when we needed it and hope we can translate that into running upfront for a win tomorrow night.”

Kyle Larson will start alongside with defending race winner Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray sharing the second row.

Ryan Newman, the highest-ranked driver outside the provisional 16-driver Chase grid, will start in the 15th position and needs to either win or rely on McMurray having a disastrous result on what will be his 500th Sprint Cup start.

Pocono winner Chris Buescher, hopes to maintain his position among the top 30 in points to clinch a Chase berth and will start 31st in the Front Row Motorsports Ford. David Ragan, his closest pursuer in the Sprint Cup standings, will start 21st in the 400-lapper.

“At the end of the day, this weekend is about something bigger,” said Buescher after qualifying down the order.

“We are trying to stay out of trouble and be there at the end. It won’t be an easy walk from where we are at right now but we will be able to work our way up.”

Cole Whitt failed to qualify for the 40-car field.

VIDEO: Hamlin Speaks after scoring pole at Richmond

 

QUALIFYING: Federated Auto Parts 400 – Richmond International Raceway  

 
POS. CAR # DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR MPH TIME GAP
1 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground 122.344 22.069 Leader
2 42 Kyle Larson Target 122.288 22.079 –0.010
3 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General 122.244 22.087 –0.018
4 1 Jamie McMurray Sherwin Williams Emerald Chevrolet 122.189 22.097 –0.028
5 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation / Monster Energy Chevrolet SS 122.144 22.105 –0.036
6 78 Martin Truex Jr Tanger Outlets 122.045 22.123 –0.054
7 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance 122.045 22.123 –0.054
8 3 Austin Dillon Dow Chevrolet 121.638 22.197 –0.128
9 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 75th Anniversary 121.457 22.230 –0.161
10 48 Jimmie Johnson LOWE’S PRO SERVICES 120.951 22.323 –0.254
11 88 Jeff Gordon Axalta 120.827 22.346 –0.277
12 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil 120.579 22.392 –0.323
13 19 Carl Edwards ARRIS Surfboard 122.272 22.082 –0.013
14 14 Tony Stewart Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS 122.249 22.086 –0.017
15 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar 122.045 22.123 –0.054
16 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger/Scott Products 122.017 22.128 –0.059
17 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite 121.924 22.145 –0.076
18 6 Trevor Bayne Advocare Ford Fusion 121.770 22.173 –0.104
19 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS 121.556 22.212 –0.143
20 21 Ryan Blaney SKF 121.529 22.217 –0.148
21 23 David Ragan sweetFrog 121.310 22.257 –0.188
22 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Zest Ford Fusion 120.654 22.378 –0.309
23 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield 120.401 22.425 –0.356
24 7 Regan Smith APC Chevrolet 120.321 22.440 –0.371
25 93 Matt DiBenedetto E.J. Wade Construction/Union Bank and Trust 122.299 22.077 –0.008
26 13 Casey Mears GEICO 122.294 22.078 –0.009
27 95 Michael McDowell Malwarebytes 122.288 22.079 –0.010
28 16 Greg Biffle Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion 122.266 22.083 –0.014
29 10 Danica Patrick Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS 122.161 22.102 –0.033
30 27 Paul Menard Dutch Boy / Menards 122.078 22.117 –0.048
31 34 Chris Buescher CSX – Play it Safe 121.957 22.139 –0.070
32 38 Landon Cassill MDS Transport 121.935 22.143 –0.074
33 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy 121.781 22.171 –0.102
34 24 Chase Elliott 3M / American Red Cross 121.775 22.172 –0.103
35 44 Brian Scott Albertsons Co / Shore Lodge 121.540 22.215 –0.146
36 30 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing 121.250 22.268 –0.199
37 46 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J 121.245 22.269 –0.200
38 55 Reed Sorenson TBD 120.924 22.328 –0.259
39 83 Dylan Lupton E.J. Wade Construction/Union Bank and Trust 120.208 22.461 –0.392
40 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt CorvetteParts.net 120.182 22.466 –0.397

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