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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)
Kyle Busch is all smiles after winning the Coors Light Pole for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, races to the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Plaid Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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