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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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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)
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team battled back from a bad re-start after the first caution of the race to finish 17th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo Credit: Campbell Marketing)
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)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during 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: Jared C. Tilton/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)

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