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Kyle Busch on pole at New Hampshire

Hamlin was without his crew chief Darian Grubb on Friday, who is still back at home celebrating the arrival of his second child earlier in the week. However, Grubb will be back at the race track in time for Sunday's event.

Hamlin will start alongside another Toyota-powered car on the second row of the grid, the Michael Waltrip Racing #56 entry driven by Martin Truex Jr.: "It wasn't a perfect lap," he shrugged. "We missed it just a little bit. I messed up a little and we made some changes to the car and messed it up some more. There was definitely more out there and I could have done a little bit better job."

His MWR team mate Clint Bowyer will start from fifth, making it four Toyotas in the top five positions at Loudon for tomorrow's race: "I just got in way too hard in one and got loose," said Bowyer afterwards. I had to wait on the throttle forever. I can't believe we ran that good. I felt like I blew it pretty bad."

Earlier in the single Friday practice session for the Cup drivers, Kyle Busch has set the fastest time ahead of Greg Biffle, but Biffle was unable to repeat that performance in the qualifying session and will start from 11th place instead.

"We had a really good car, but just ended up a little tight right there," he said, not sounding too dispirited. "My second lap was really good. I just got tight off of four and I didn't want to lift because I knew it would be the top of the board most likely, and I just ran out of real estate. I had to go for it because I knew a .66 wasn't good enough, so I just murdered one and two on the second lap and got into three and four good, it just got tight on exit. I thought I was gonna make it. It was close.”

Most of the remaining top ten places on the grid went to the leading Chase contenders, with Jimmie Johnson in seventh, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in ninth and Tony Stewart in tenth. New father Kevin Harvick qualified in 12th place and will start alongside Biffle on the grid.

But current Cup championship points leader Matt Kenseth was only able to qualify in 27th place, and he wasn't happy.

“That was probably our worst lap of the day, but it hasn't been going very well," he admitted later. "This place has always been a struggle for us, especially in qualifying, so we'll just get through today and start working on it tomorrow."

Mike Bliss was the one car not to qualify on speed for the 43-car grid at Loudon, after he brushed the wall on his qualifying lap.

The Cup drivers get two more practice sessions on Saturday, with the race itself starting an noon local time on Sunday. The Nationwide Series is also racing at New Hampshire, with qualifying on Saturday morning and the FW Webb 200 race itself taking place in the afternoon.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is meanwhile competing at Iowa Speedway this weekend, with all practice and qualifying sessions taking place on Saturday afternoon and the American Ethanol 200 race itself being held under the floodlights in the evening.




Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch and crew chief Dave Rodgers celebrate winning the Coors Light Pole Award at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Joey Logano (left), driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
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NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (left) congratulates his son Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. This will mark Chase Elliott`s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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