BRISTOL, TN- NASCAR mandated a rule change this week to eliminate cars from running on the apron during qualifying. Teams were having their drivers “cool” their engines down on the apron while other cars were going full speed in a qualifying run. Due to that, teams were scared for today’s qualifying session at the Bristol Motor Speedway as the cars are hurrying around there with 15-second laps.
There would be too much carnage.
That’s why NASCAR allowed teams to cool the engines on pit road beginning with today’s qualifying session at the half-mile track. When it was all said and done, we saw a caution free event as Denny Hamlin won the pole for Sunday’s Food City 500.
Hamlin, broke the track record in the process as his lap of 129.991 mph is the quickest Sprint Cup lap ever at BMS. He did that with only one run in the final 10-minute session to grab the pole in his No. 11 FedEx Toyota as it was his 18th career Sprint Cup Series pole.
Joining Hamlin on the front row is Brad Keselowski. It will be Keselowski’s third straight top two start of the season as he won the pole at Phoenix two weeks ago and started second at Las Vegas last weekend.
Keselowski, turned a lap of 129. 965 mph in his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford.
Starting third is Hamiln’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth as he turned a lap of 129.073 mph in the No. 20 Toyota. Joey Logano made it an all JGR/Team Penske first two rows sweep as he will start fourth in Sunday’s race.
Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top five in today’s session.
The series will practice twice tomorrow in preparation for Sunday’s race. Teams will try and dial it in better as we saw four crashes in practice this morning.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report covering Racing. He’s covered both IndyCar and NASCAR action since 2009 and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by both the IndyCar Series and all three divisions of NASCAR racing.
All images appearing in the Indiana Sports Report web site are the exclusive property of Indiana Sports Report, the photographer and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Indiana Sports Report and/or the photographer.
All Content and Images (c) 2013-2016, Indiana Sports Report. All Rights Reserved.