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Hamlin wins Cup pole at Indianapolis

After topping the earlier second practice session, Edwards' team mate Greg Biffle had to be satisfied with fifth place on the grid, starting alongside Jimmie Johnson.

"I have been good there all day long but my car just didn't get to the bottom and that just killed me there on that turn," he explained. "It was probably a couple tenths. I don't think I would have beat Denny but would maybe be second or third right now."

"We had a good slide off the exit there, but I have been happy with my race car since we unloaded," contributed Johnson. "It was a solid run for us. We were a little too loose to challenge for the pole, but a great lap. We have had a great day on track period. I feel really good about my KOBALT Tools Chevy for the race tomorrow. I would love to be a four-time winner here that's the goal."

That was certainly better than Kevin Harvick's thoughts about his own performance, having qualifid a distant 27th: "Not a good [qualifying] lap and overall it has been a terrible day," he posted on social media site Twitter after his run.

Trevor Bayne qualified the Wood Brothers #21 on speed into 18th place on the grid, and felt there was more to come.

"I think the car was on a little more than I was right there in qualifying," he said. "I am sure every driver on pit road thinks they could have done better and I am one of those drivers. You can't really see in turn one here and when you land you know if you drove hard enough of if you could have gone harder."

Not being locked-in on owner points had definitely played a part in how Bayne had approached qualifying: "When you are leaving pit road the last thought in your mind is that we have to make the show on time and aren't locked in and that causes you to leave more on the table than you want to," he admitted.

Reed Sorenson and Joe Nemechek failed to qualify for the race on speed. Initially, Mike Bill also missed making the 43-car grid, but post-qualifying inspection of Michael McDowell's car found that the #98 had too much nitrogen gas in the rear shock absorbers, causing McDowell to have his times eliminated. That means McDowell drops out of Sunday's race and Bliss is reinstated into the field.

Full qualifying and practice times available.




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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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