Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Qualifying report
NASCAR Cup Watkins Glen

NASCAR Cup Watkins Glen: Hamlin earns 40th pole

Denny Hamlin earned the 40th pole position of his NASCAR Cup career and will lead Sunday’s field to the green at Watkins Glen International.

Pole sitter Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry

Hamlin went out twice in the final round of Saturday’s qualifying session, and posted the fastest average lap speed on his first run before he topped it on his second at 125.298 mph – one of the few to improve on the second attempt.

The pole is Hamlin’s fourth this season and 40th of his career. It is also his third pole on road or street courses, having also qualified first at Sonoma and the Chicago Street Course.

Unfortunately, Hamlin has yet to translate one of his poles into a win, the closest he came being at Chicago with an 11th place finish.

“I thought I executed those corners pretty good. I thought there were a few spots I feel like I could have gotten a little bit more, but you can’t nit pick when you’re that good,” Hamlin said.

“Shoutout to Toyota and this whole #11 team for bringing me a fast car.”

William Byron ended up second quickest at 124.961 mph while last weekend’s race winner at the Indy Road Course, Michael McDowell, was third (124.949 mph).

Ty Gibbs and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five.

Completing the top-10 starting lineup were A.J. Allmendinger, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch and Corey LaJoie, who will make his career-best start.

Cla Driver # Manufacturer Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United StatesDENNY HAMLINJoe Gibbs Racing 11 Toyota 3 1'10.392   125.298
2 United StatesWILLIAM BYRONHendrick Motorsports 24 Chevrolet 4 +0.190 0.190 124.961
3 United StatesMICHAEL MCDOWELLFront Row Motorsports 34 Ford 4 +0.197 0.007 124.949
4
TY GIBBSJoe Gibbs Racing
54 Toyota 1 +0.230 0.033 124.890
5 United StatesKYLE LARSONHendrick Motorsports 5 Chevrolet 4 +0.239 0.009 124.874
6 United StatesAJ ALLMENDINGERKaulig Racing 16 Chevrolet 4 +0.369 0.130 124.645
7 United StatesCHRISTOPHER BELLJoe Gibbs Racing 20 Toyota 2 +0.511 0.142 124.395
8 United StatesTYLER REDDICK23XI Racing 45 Toyota 5 +0.630 0.119 124.187
9 United StatesKYLE BUSCHRichard Childress Racing 8 Chevrolet 2 +0.686 0.056 124.089
10 United StatesCOREY LAJOIESpire Motorsports 7 Chevrolet 2 +0.832 0.146 123.835

Round 1/Group A

Byron led the way in the first group with an average lap speed of 125.071 mph.

McDowell was second quick at 125.058mph and Reddick was third fastest (124.995 mph).

Also advancing to the final round of qualifying from Group A were Gibbs and Hamlin.

Among those who failed to advance were Chase Elliott, who needs a win to make the playoffs; Austin Dillon, Alex Bowman and Mike Rockenfeller, who is driving Legacy Motor Club’s #42 Chevrolet this week.

Elliott was disgusted with himself after his final qualifying attempt, letting loose a string of profanities over his team radio once he returned to pit road.

“To me, this was the opportunity that we had that we have the most control over,” said Elliott, who will line up 15th. “I didn’t have a very good start to the weekend. It puts us in a tough spot.”

Cla Driver # Manufacturer Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United StatesWILLIAM BYRONHendrick Motorsports 24 Chevrolet 3 1'10.520   125.071
2 United StatesMICHAEL MCDOWELLFront Row Motorsports 34 Ford 2 +0.007 0.007 125.058
3 United StatesTYLER REDDICK23XI Racing 45 Toyota 3 +0.043 0.036 124.995
4
TY GIBBSJoe Gibbs Racing
54 Toyota 3 +0.078 0.035 124.933
5 United StatesDENNY HAMLINJoe Gibbs Racing 11 Toyota 3 +0.124 0.046 124.851
6 United StatesCHASE ELLIOTTHendrick Motorsports 9 Chevrolet 3 +0.472 0.348 124.239
7 United StatesAUSTIN DILLONRichard Childress Racing 3 Chevrolet 5 +0.560 0.088 124.086
8 United StatesALEX BOWMANHendrick Motorsports 48 Chevrolet 4 +0.633 0.073 123.958
9 GermanyMIKE ROCKENFELLERLegacy Motor Club 42 Chevrolet 7 +0.679 0.046 123.878
10 United StatesBRAD KESELOWSKIRFK Racing 6 Ford 4 +0.864 0.185 123.557
11 United StatesTODD GILLILANDFront Row Motorsports 38 Ford 5 +0.864 0.000 123.557
12 United StatesRICKY STENHOUSE JRJTG Daugherty Racing 47 Chevrolet 4 +0.953 0.089 123.403
13 United StatesCOLE CUSTERRick Ware Racing 51 Ford 3 +1.165 0.212 123.038
14 United StatesERIK JONESLegacy Motor Club 43 Chevrolet 3 +1.203 0.038 122.973
15 United StatesHARRISON BURTONWood Brothers Racing 21 Ford 5 +1.222 0.019 122.941
16 United StatesKEVIN HARVICKStewart-Haas Racing 4 Ford 4 +1.238 0.016 122.913
17 United StatesJOSH BILICKILive Fast Motorsports 78 Chevrolet 4 +1.427 0.189 122.590
18 United StatesTY DILLONSpire Motorsports 77 Chevrolet 4 +1.543 0.116 122.393

Round 1/Group B

Allmendinger – who was fastest in Saturday’s practice – led the way in Group B with an average lap speed of 124.857 mph.

Larson was second fastest (124.752 mph) and LaJoie was third (124.638 mph). Also advancing to the final round were Bell and Busch.

Among those who failed to advance out of Group B were Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suarez, who nearly spun out in the area of the bus stop on his flying lap.

Cla Driver # Manufacturer Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United StatesAJ ALLMENDINGERKaulig Racing 16 Chevrolet 1 1'10.641   124.857
2 United StatesKYLE LARSONHendrick Motorsports 5 Chevrolet 1 +0.059 0.059 124.752
3 United StatesCOREY LAJOIESpire Motorsports 7 Chevrolet 3 +0.124 0.065 124.638
4 United StatesCHRISTOPHER BELLJoe Gibbs Racing 20 Toyota 4 +0.183 0.059 124.534
5 United StatesKYLE BUSCHRichard Childress Racing 8 Chevrolet 4 +0.283 0.100 124.358
6 United StatesJOEY LOGANOTeam Penske 22 Ford 4 +0.285 0.002 124.355
7 United StatesBUBBA WALLACE23XI Racing 23 Toyota 4 +0.305 0.020 124.320
8 United StatesCHRIS BUESCHERRFK Racing 17 Ford 5 +0.325 0.020 124.285
9 MexicoDANIEL SUAREZTrackHouse Racing 99 Chevrolet 6 +0.340 0.015 124.259
10 United StatesAUSTIN CINDRICTeam Penske 2 Ford 5 +0.482 0.142 124.011
11 United StatesMARTIN TRUEX JRJoe Gibbs Racing 19 Toyota 5 +0.513 0.031 123.956
12 United StatesJUSTIN HALEYKaulig Racing 31 Chevrolet 2 +0.551 0.038 123.890
13 United StatesROSS CHASTAINTrackHouse Racing 1 Chevrolet 5 +0.564 0.013 123.868
14 United StatesRYAN BLANEYTeam Penske 12 Ford 4 +0.592 0.028 123.819
15 United StatesCHASE BRISCOEStewart-Haas Racing 14 Ford 5 +0.806 0.214 123.448
16 United StatesARIC ALMIROLAStewart-Haas Racing 10 Ford 3 +0.815 0.009 123.433
17 United StatesANDY LALLYRick Ware Racing 15 Ford 6 +0.844 0.029 123.383
18 United StatesRYAN PREECEStewart-Haas Racing 41 Ford 7 +1.079 0.235 122.978

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article NASCAR champion Larson to run Indy 500 rookie orientation in October
Next article NASCAR Cup Watkins Glen: Byron wins, Harvick and Keselowski book playoff spots

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe