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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

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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)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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 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)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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