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Hamlin wins Cup pole at Indianapolis

Denny Hamlin took pole position for Sunday afternoon's Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race, two tenths faster than Carl Edwards who will start alongside him on the front row of the grid.
Denny Hamlin won pole position for the Brickyard 400 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a lap of 49.244s (182.763mph) on the historic 2.5-mile circuit, and he was certainly feeling good with how things were looking heading into Sunday afternoon's race.

"If you put me out front on the last run, no one's going to get around me!" he said afterwards. "So it's all going to be about maintaining track position and maintaining the balance of your race car.

"All you can do is hope that you've got a fast enough car to be one of those two, where, if you do get set back, you can be one of the cars that can get back to the front," he added, already thinking ahead to race day strategy. "One thing about it is having the number one pit stall now. That's going to be an advantage on pit road," he added.

Carl Edwards was feeling pretty pleased with second place with a time 0.211s off Hamlin's pole run, and will be on the front row of the grid for the start of tomorrow's race. That's especially good given that this is his first track outing with new crew chief Chad Norris calling the shots after the decision by long-time colleague Bob Osborne to step down from the post on medical grounds.

"That was a really good lap for us, I am just proud of everyone for coming together and working together," said Edwards afterwards. "Chad Norris is as excited as anyone and all the guys on the team seem really upbeat and ready to move forward. I am real grateful for the timing of all this that we had the off weekend.

"I feel really good about it," added Edwards. "It has been great working with Chad. I think Bob is doing pretty well. He won't quite tell me exactly how he is doing. He keeps things pretty quiet. The biggest thing is we are all behind Bob 100-percent and hope he gets better and feels better."

Behind them on the second row of the grid, Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing tam mate Joey Logano will start form third place alongside Richard Petty Motorsports' Aric Almirola.

"I've blown up in practice here twice and had to start in the back, and I know it's really, really hard and it takes all day to get up there," recalled Logano of past years at the Brickyard. "Starting towards the front is going to be ... I think it's more important here than probably anywhere we go. It should help!"

"With this being my first time here, it's tough," said Almirola of his experience so far at Indy. "We only made one qualifying run toward the end of practice. We spent most of our time in race trim, just trying to get me some laps ... The most challenging thing is trying to get up to speed, trying to tell [crew chief] Mike Ford what I need to go faster."




Related Pictures

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Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualified for sixth position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, qualified for second position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with his wife DeLana, son Keelan, and the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, captured the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan NASCAR Sprint Cup 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates capturing the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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