Denny Hamlin snapped a 24-race pole drought for Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota to claim the pole for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

Hamlin besieged the Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Kyle Larson for the top spot. Larson himself had just bumped Hamlin’s JGR teammate Martin Truex, Jr. off the top spot by a scant .001 of a second with a lap of 14.874 seconds.

Hamlin responded by lapping the .533 of a mile oval in of 14.848 seconds – .026s ahead of Larson’s Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

The driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry was over the moon to have snapped the pole drought for the four-car team and continue his hot streak of five straight top-five finishes.

“We’ve lived it for sure,” said Hamlin. “Proud of this whole FedEx team, these guys are on it right now. Steadily trying to learn every week and do everything I can to get better, and the results are showing it.

“It’s week to week, though, and you’re only as good as your last race.”

Larson’s performance netted him his second front row start of the year and his third at Bristol.

Truex, Jr. ended up third ahead of Larson’s six-time Bristol winning teammate Kurt Busch while Aric Almirola rounded out the top five as the quickest Ford.

Spring polesitter Chase Elliott ended up sixth while Matt DiBenedetto matched his best start of the year in seventh.

Kevin Harvick will roll off in eighth as Erik Jones made it three JGR Toyotas in the top ten in ninth while Alex Bowman completed the top ten.

Team Penske had a somewhat disappointing outing as drivers Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski missed out on the top ten and will line up in positions 11-13 respectively.

Nine-time Bristol master Kyle Busch had an even more dismal qualifying run by only mustering the 31st quickest time. The run stands his worst starting spot at the track since 2013 when he started 43rd.

Comments

Loading Comments...