Martinsville NASCAR: Denny Hamlin claims pole

Denny Hamlin will start the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville from pole position after topping qualifying on Friday

Martinsville NASCAR: Denny Hamlin claims pole

Hamlin, running right in the middle of the session, lapped the 0.5-mile circuit in 19.013 seconds and watched as a number of drivers came close but ultimately failed to topple his Joe Gibbs Toyota.

Chase leader Jimmie Johnson's Hendrick Chevrolet offered the sternest challenge, but fell half a tenth short. Hamlin's Gibbs team-mate Kyle Busch was the final car to run in the session, and jumped to third - setting an identical 19.061s lap to Johnson in second.

Johnson's chief Chase rival Matt Kenseth was fourth fastest in his Joe Gibbs Toyota, fractionally ahead of Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano. The top six cars were covered by less than a tenth of a second.

Talladega winner Jamie McMurray briefly held provisional pole after immediately deposing 2012 champion Brad Keselowski, but was eventually shuffed back to seventh.

The session was incident-free bar Bowyer scraping the wall lightly on his second run, with nobody replicating the practice shunts of Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 19.013s 2. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 19.061s +0.048s 3. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 19.061s +0.048s 4. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 19.092s +0.079s 5. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 19.096s +0.083s 6. Joey Logano Penske Ford 19.111s +0.098s 7. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 19.126s +0.113s 8. David Ragan Front Row Ford 19.163s +0.150s 9. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 19.168s +0.155s 10. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 19.171s +0.158s 11. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 19.176s +0.163s 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 19.183s +0.170s 13. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 19.185s +0.172s 14. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 19.194s +0.181s 15. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 19.214s +0.201s 16. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 19.219s +0.206s 17. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 19.242s +0.229s 18. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 19.244s +0.231s 19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 19.245s +0.232s 20. Mark Martin Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 19.248s +0.235s 21. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 19.253s +0.240s 22. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 19.297s +0.284s 23. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 19.312s +0.299s 24. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 19.313s +0.300s 25. Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 19.328s +0.315s 26. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 19.351s +0.338s 27. Casey Mears Germain Ford 19.356s +0.343s 28. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 19.366s +0.353s 29. Cole Whitt Swan Toyota 19.366s +0.353s 30. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 19.377s +0.364s 31. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 19.387s +0.374s 32. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 19.398s +0.385s 33. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 19.408s +0.395s 34. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 19.422s +0.409s 35. Elliott Sadler Waltrip Toyota 19.427s +0.414s 36. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 19.432s +0.419s 37. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 19.446s +0.433s 38. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 19.501s +0.488s 39. Tony Raines Hillman Chevrolet 19.504s +0.491s 40. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 19.511s +0.498s 41. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 19.571s +0.558s 42. Reed Sorenson Levine Ford 19.757s +0.744s 43. David Reutimann BK Toyota 19.976s +0.963s 
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