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Fontana - Cup qualifying

Denny Hamlin rose above recent controversies to claim pole position by less than half of a tenth of a second over Greg Biffle at Fontana for Sunday's Auto Club 400.
Denny Hamlin put Joe Gibbs Racing on pole position at Fontana for this weekend's Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. His lap of 38.410s (187.451mph) on the two-mile,low-banked D-shaped superspeedway was 0.048s ahead of Roush Fenway's Greg Biffle.

"It was fast," said Hamlin of his qualifying lap. "I knew our car was just ridiculous fast in qualifying trim." It's Hamlin's 13th pole in 264 Cup starts, his third pole in 13 races at Fontana, and his first of 2013.

All three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers qualified in the two five, with Kyle Busch in fourth ahead of Matt Kenseth in fifth. And the remaining two drivers at the front - Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski - will be absent from their positions come the green flag as they will get sent to the back from the start after blowing engines in the earlier practice session.

"That hopefully won't hurt us for the race.," said Biffle of the handicap. "The guys worked really hard to change this engine out and obviously the new one is running really good."

Qualifying times

1. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 38.410s (Pole) 187.451mph
2. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 38.458s (+ 0.048s) 187.217mph
3. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 38.472s (+ 0.062s) 187.149mph
4. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 38.476s (+ 0.066s) 187.130mph
5. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 38.567s (+ 0.157s) 186.688mph
6. #22 Joey Logano Ford 38.603s (+ 0.193s) 186.514mph
7. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 38.653s (+ 0.243s) 186.273mph
8. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 38.738s (+ 0.328s) 185.864mph
9. #55 Mark Martin Toyota 38.753s (+ 0.343s) 185.792mph
10. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 38.777s (+ 0.367s) 185.677mph
11. #13 Casey Mears Ford 38.886s (+ 0.476s) 185.157mph
12. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 38.901s (+ 0.491s) 185.085mph
13. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 38.945s (+ 0.535s) 184.876mph
14. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 38.979s (+ 0.569s) 184.715mph
15. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 38.998s (+ 0.588s) 184.625mph
16. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 39.051s (+ 0.641s) 184.374mph
17. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 39.081s (+ 0.671s) 184.233mph
18. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 39.121s (+ 0.711s) 184.044mph
19. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 39.128s (+ 0.718s) 184.011mph
20. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 39.133s (+ 0.723s) 183.988mph
21. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 39.162s (+ 0.752s) 183.852mph
22. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 39.194s (+ 0.784s) 183.702mph
23. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 39.195s (+ 0.785s) 183.697mph
24. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 39.222s (+ 0.812s) 183.570mph
25. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 39.291s (+ 0.881s) 183.248mph
26. #51 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 39.320s (+ 0.910s) 183.113mph
27. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 39.340s (+ 0.930s) 183.020mph
28. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 39.382s (+ 0.972s) 182.825mph
29. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 39.418s (+ 1.008s) 182.658mph
30. #35 Josh Wise Ford 39.422s (+ 1.012s) 182.639mph
31. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 39.448s (+ 1.038s) 182.519mph
32. #30 David Stremme Toyota 39.458s (+ 1.048s) 182.473mph
33. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 39.465s (+ 1.055s) 182.440mph
34. #38 David Gilliland Ford 39.671s (+ 1.261s) 181.493mph
35. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 39.760s (+ 1.350s) 181.087mph
36. #33 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 39.760s (+ 1.350s) 181.087mph
37. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 39.955s (+ 1.545s) 180.203mph
38. #44 Scott Riggs Ford 40.038s (+ 1.628s) 179.829mph
39. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 40.118s (+ 1.708s) 179.471mph
40. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 40.155s (+ 1.745s) 179.305mph
41. #19 Mike Bliss Toyota 40.369s (+ 1.959s) 178.355mph
42. #34 David Ragan Ford 40.492s (+ 2.082s) 177.813mph
43. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 40.645s (+ 2.235s) 177.144mph

Practice 1 times

1. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 38.832s (Leader) 185.414mph (20 laps)
2. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 38.956s (-0.124s) 184.824mph (21 laps)
3. #51 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 39.001s (-0.169s) 184.611mph (22 laps)
4. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 39.013s (-0.181s) 184.554mph (18 laps)
5. #22 Joey Logano Ford 39.045s (-0.213s) 184.403mph (27 laps)
6. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 39.104s (-0.272s) 184.124mph (8 laps)
7. #55 Mark Martin Toyota 39.133s (-0.301s) 183.988mph (27 laps)
8. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 39.177s (-0.345s) 183.781mph (24 laps)
9. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 39.184s (-0.352s) 183.748mph (29 laps)
10. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 39.228s (-0.396s) 183.542mph (21 laps)
11. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 39.258s (-0.426s) 183.402mph (24 laps)
12. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 39.268s (-0.436s) 183.355mph (28 laps)
13. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 39.273s (-0.441s) 183.332mph (20 laps)
14. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 39.306s (-0.474s) 183.178mph (23 laps)
15. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 39.313s (-0.481s) 183.146mph (13 laps)
16. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 39.326s (-0.494s) 183.085mph (31 laps)
17. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 39.340s (-0.508s) 183.020mph (35 laps)
18. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 39.381s (-0.549s) 182.829mph (11 laps)
19. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 39.385s (-0.553s) 182.811mph (17 laps)
20. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 39.402s (-0.570s) 182.732mph (29 laps)
21. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 39.436s (-0.604s) 182.574mph (18 laps)
22. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 39.437s (-0.605s) 182.570mph (25 laps)
23. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 39.441s (-0.609s) 182.551mph (25 laps)
24. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 39.490s (-0.658s) 182.325mph (20 laps)
25. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 39.505s (-0.673s) 182.255mph (20 laps)
26. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 39.596s (-0.764s) 181.837mph (19 laps)
27. #13 Casey Mears Ford 39.655s (-0.823s) 181.566mph (29 laps)
28. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 39.777s (-0.945s) 181.009mph (16 laps)
29. #30 David Stremme Toyota 39.798s (-0.966s) 180.914mph (14 laps)
30. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 39.908s (-1.076s) 180.415mph (19 laps)
31. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 40.015s (-1.183s) 179.933mph (14 laps)
32. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 40.058s (-1.226s) 179.739mph (5 laps)
33. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 40.128s (-1.296s) 179.426mph (10 laps)
34. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 40.161s (-1.329s) 179.278mph (25 laps)
35. #35 Josh Wise Ford 40.172s (-1.340s) 179.229mph (9 laps)
36. #34 David Ragan Ford 40.198s (-1.366s) 179.113mph (7 laps)
37. #33 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 40.206s (-1.374s) 179.078mph (7 laps)
38. #19 Mike Bliss Toyota 40.442s (-1.610s) 178.033mph (5 laps)
39. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 40.646s (-1.814s) 177.139mph (11 laps)
40. #44 Scott Riggs Ford 40.707s (-1.875s) 176.874mph (10 laps)
41. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 40.785s (-1.953s) 176.535mph (3 laps)
42. #38 David Gilliland Ford 40.942s (-2.110s) 175.859mph (4 laps)
43. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 41.182s (-2.350s) 174.834mph (7 laps)



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, poses after qualifying for the pole position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2013 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Crew members work on the #16 3M Ford, driven by Greg Biffle (not pictured), during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2013 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, stands on the grid after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2013 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
The front right tire of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, driven by Paul Menard, catches fire during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)

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