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