Denny Hamlin claims Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup pole
|By Diego Mejia
||Saturday, July 28th 2012, 20:54 GMT
Denny Hamlin claimed his second NASCAR Sprint Cup pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver set a laptime of 49.244 seconds at an average speed of 182.793 mph, which beat the previous benchmark set by his team-mate Joey Logano.
Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards, who enters the weekend with a new crew chief, came closest to beating Hamlin and will start from the front row of the grid.
"It's been a good day," said Hamlin. "We started off today not where we wanted to be speed-wise and car handling but we identified the problem with our car... It looked like [it] picked up speed and obviously it was a great qualifying lap.
"This is a great start to our weekend, knowing that we have the number one pit-stall, we have obviously a fast car and I have a great pit crew that's going to hopefully keep me up front all day.
"If you put me out front for the last run no one's going to get around me, I don't think."
Logano and Richard Petty's Aric Almirola made it a combination of Toyota and Ford in the first two rows of the grid, followed by Edwards' team-mate Greg Biffle, and the fastest Chevrolet of three-time Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson.
Kyle Busch was seventh, making it three Gibbs Toyotas among the top 10, followed by last year's event winner Paul Menard, four-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon and points leader Matt Kenseth.
Hendrick's Kasey Kahne had set the benchmark in practice with the fastest lap of the weekend during the opening session, but he had a disappointing qualifying and will only line up 15th in the order.
Brad Keselowski and former Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr were 22nd and 24th in the Penske Dodges respectively.
Wood Brothers' Trevor Bayne was the best of the non-guaranteed drivers in 18th, while Reed Sorenson and Joe Nemechek failed to make the cut on speed.
Michael McDowell had been fast enough in qualifying to make the grid but his car failed post-qualifying inspection and thus missed his spot in the race, giving his place to Mike Bliss.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 49.244s
2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 49.455s + 0.211s
3. Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Toyota 49.517s + 0.273s
4. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 49.538s + 0.294s
5. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 49.578s + 0.334s
6. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 49.626s + 0.382s
7. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 49.711s + 0.467s
8. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 49.720s + 0.476s
9. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 49.737s + 0.493s
10. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 49.819s + 0.575s
11. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 49.831s + 0.587s
12. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 49.857s + 0.613s
13. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 49.865s + 0.621s
14. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 49.869s + 0.625s
15. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 49.876s + 0.632s
16. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 49.879s + 0.635s
17. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 49.880s + 0.636s
18. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 49.892s + 0.648s
19. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 49.893s + 0.649s
20. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 49.932s + 0.688s
21. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 49.951s + 0.707s
22. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 49.959s + 0.715s
23. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 49.980s + 0.736s
24. Sam Hornish Jr Penske Dodge 50.020s + 0.776s
25. Casey Mears Germain Ford 50.134s + 0.890s
26. David Stremme Inception Toyota 50.220s + 0.976s
27. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 50.309s + 1.065s
28. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 50.318s + 1.074s
29. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 50.331s + 1.087s
30. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 50.408s + 1.164s
31. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 50.418s + 1.174s
32. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 50.424s + 1.180s
33. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 50.443s + 1.199s
34. Scott Speed Leavine Ford 50.603s + 1.359s
35. Josh Wise Front Row Chevrolet 50.635s + 1.391s
36. David Ragan Front Row Ford 50.667s + 1.423s
37. Stephen Leicht Circle Sport Chevrolet 50.748s + 1.504s
38. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 50.750s + 1.506s
39. Mike Skinner Go Green Ford 50.878s + 1.634s
40. Scott Riggs R3 Chevrolet 50.888s + 1.644s
41. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 50.985s + 1.741s
42. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 51.497s + 2.253s
43. Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 51.084s + 1.840s
Did not qualify:
Reed Sorenson Humphrey Smith Ford 51.250s + 2.006s
Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 51.387s + 2.143s
Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 50.590s + 1.346s
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