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Hamlin On CMS Pole

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 7 2017

Denny Hamlin will lead the field to green at Charlotte on Sunday.

RacinToday.com

Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing claimed the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday.

Hamlin will start up front in the first race in the Round of 12 in the series Playoff after coving the 1.5-mile distance at CMS in 28.184 seconds (191.598 mph) to edge teammate, Matt Kenseth (191.489 mph), for the top starting spot by .016 seconds.

The pole was Hamlin’s first of the season, his second at Charlotte and the 25th of his career. In 13 seasons of Cup racing, Hamlin has won at least one pole per year, with the exception of 2011. Hamlin is seventh in the standings and Kenseth 11th after surviving elimination in last Sunday’s Round of 16 finale at Dover International Speedway. The Playoff field will be cut from 12 drivers to eight after the Oct. 22 race at Kansas Speedway.

Hamlin underscored the importance of starting up front on Sunday.

“For us, it’s a big bonus, because we’re in that kind of a middle spot in the grid right now where we have some decent playoff points,” Hamlin said, “but we’re still 40 or so behind Truex and maybe 30 or so behind Kyle (Busch) and we can knock a big chunk out of that if we run up front in the first two stages.

“So we’ve got the starting spot to do it. We need to log all the points we can while we have the track position, and I’m glad we’re starting off this round this way, and hopefully our car is good enough to stay there to get those points early on.”

For Kenseth, who starts the Round of 12 below the cut line, the strong qualifying effort was equally gratifying.

“Track position is obviously important – track position, restarts, pit stops, strategy, all that stuff,” Kenseth said. “Not probably the easiest track we go to typically to pass, now being a day race and maybe (the track will) widen out some and (we’ll) be able to pass a little bit easier than normal, hopefully.

“It’s always important to be up front and try to get a good pit stall for Sunday. It’s how you want to start your weekend.”

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – Bank of America 500

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Concord, North Carolina

Friday, October 6, 2017

  1. (11)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 191.598 mph.
  2. (20)  Matt Kenseth (P), Toyota, 191.489 mph.
  3. (4)  Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, 191.394 mph.
  4. (18)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 190.941 mph.
  5. (14)  Clint Bowyer, Ford, 190.584 mph.
  6. (2)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 190.557 mph.
  7. (24)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 190.409 mph.
  8. (41)  Kurt Busch, Ford, 190.362 mph.
  9. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 190.221 mph.
  10. (42)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 190.067 mph.
  11. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 189.813 mph.
  12. (10)  Danica Patrick, Ford, 189.215 mph.
  13. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 190.000 mph.
  14. (19)  Daniel Suarez #, Toyota, 189.813 mph.
  15. (21)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 189.707 mph.
  16. (95)  Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 189.580 mph.
  17. (78)  Martin Truex Jr (P), Toyota, 189.500 mph.
  18. (1)  Jamie McMurray (P), Chevrolet, 189.208 mph.
  19. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 189.201 mph.
  20. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 189.168 mph.
  21. (37)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 188.904 mph.
  22. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (P), Ford, 187.422 mph.
  23. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 187.285 mph.
  24. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 185.644 mph.
  25. (48)  Jimmie Johnson (P), Chevrolet, 189.221 mph.
  26. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 188.996 mph.
  27. (13)  Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 188.409 mph.
  28. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 187.728 mph.
  29. (32)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 187.220 mph.
  30. (34)  Landon Cassill, Ford, 187.039 mph.
  31. (38)  David Ragan, Ford, 186.851 mph.
  32. (72)  Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 186.297 mph.
  33. (51)  BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 184.388 mph.
  34. (15)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 184.131 mph.
  35. (55)  Gray Gaulding #, Toyota, 183.045 mph.
  36. (66)  Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 182.420 mph.
  37. (33)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 181.165 mph.
  38. (77)  Erik Jones #, Toyota, 0.000 mph.
  39. (23)  Corey LaJoie #, Toyota, 0.000 mph.
  40. (83)  Brett Moffitt(i), Toyota, 0.000 mph.
| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 7 2017
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