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Pocono NASCAR: Denny Hamlin on top in qualifying shootout

Denny Hamlin takes Pocono NASCAR pole 2014

Denny Hamlin stole pole position late in NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Pocono Raceway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver set a late benchmark in the five-minute pole shootout to deny Stewart-Haas' Kurt Busch and take his second pole position of the year, after Bristol in March.

With Pocono 2.5 miles long and just five minutes in the final part of the knockout session, drivers only had time for one lap in their fight for pole.

Busch had set the track record in the second segment of qualifying, but had to settle for second on the grid behind the blistering lap set by Hamlin.

Penske's Brad Keselowski starts from third after a solid qualifying session, followed by four time Pocono 400 winner Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The winner of the last two Cup races, Jimmie Johnson, could only manage 20th and missed out on the final 12 shootout after making a mistake at Turn 2.

Other notable absentees from the fight for pole were Matt Kenseth in 26th, as his 2014 qualifying woes continued, along with Hendrick Motorsports' Kasey Kahne, who landed just behind Kenseth in 27th.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                 Time     Gap
 1.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota         49.610s
 2.  Kurt Busch          Stewart-Haas Chevrolet   49.612s  +0.002s
 3.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford              49.637s  +0.027s
 4.  Kevin Harvick       Stewart-Haas Chevrolet   49.770s  +0.160s
 5.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet       49.858s  +0.248s
 6.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota         49.873s  +0.263s
 7.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford              50.048s  +0.438s
 8.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet       50.121s  +0.511s
 9.  Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota           50.126s  +0.516s
10.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford        50.172s  +0.562s
11.  Austin Dillon       Childress Chevrolet      50.188s  +0.578s
12.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet   50.244s  +0.634s
13.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford        50.207s  Q2
14.  Kyle Larson         Ganassi Chevrolet        50.215s  Q2
15.  Ryan Newman         Childress Chevrolet      50.259s  Q2
16.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet   50.265s  Q2
17.  Martin Truex Jr     Furniture Row Chevrolet  50.286s  Q2
18.  Jamie McMurray      Ganassi Chevrolet        50.302s  Q2
19.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota           50.342s  Q2
20.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet       50.370s  Q2
21.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Chevrolet  50.480s  Q2
22.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford               50.521s  Q2
23.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet      50.553s  Q2
24.  Justin Allgaier     HScott Chevrolet         50.765s  Q2
25.  Casey Mears         Germain Chevrolet        50.549s  Q1
26.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota         50.571s  Q1
27.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet       50.588s  Q1
28.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford        50.610s  Q1
29.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford               50.801s  Q1
30.  Michael Annett      Baldwin Chevrolet        51.047s  Q1
31.  Landon Cassill      Hillman Chevrolet        51.129s  Q1
32.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford           51.159s  Q1
33.  Travis Kvapil       FAS Lane Ford            51.175s  Q1
34.  Alex Bowman         BK Toyota                51.231s  Q1
35.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford           51.249s  Q1
36.  Reed Sorenson       Baldwin Chevrolet        51.441s  Q1
37.  Josh Wise           Parsons Ford             51.503s  Q1
38.  JJ Yeley            Xxxtreme Chevrolet       51.733s  Q1
39.  Timmy Hill          Robinson Toyota          51.945s  Q1
40.  Cole Whitt          BK Toyota                52.081s  Q1
41.  Ryan Truex          BK Toyota                52.188s  Q1
42.  Alex Kennedy        Circle Sport Chevrolet   53.037s  Q1
43.  Dave Blaney         Humphrey Ford                     Q1
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Earnhardt grabs last-gasp win