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Denny Hamlin Breaks Track Record En Route to Food City 500 Pole

NASCAR Media Site
NASCAR Media Site

Eric Smith
ISR Senior Writer

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.

Food City 500 Starting Line-up:

Row 1: Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski

Row 2: Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano

Row 3: Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Gordon

Row 4: Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle

Row 5: Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne

Row 6: Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards

Row 7: Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Row 8: Clint Bowyer, David Gilliland

Row 9: Jamie McMurray, Cole Whitt

Row 10: David Ragan, Kyle Larson R

Row 11: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., A.J. Allmendinger

Row 12: Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola

Row 13: Casey Mears, Austin Dillon R

Row 14: Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard

Row 15: Martin Truex Jr., Justin Allgaier R

Row 16: Landon Cassill, Josh Wise

Row 17: Alex Bowman R , Michael Annett R

Row 18: Reed Sornenson, Danica Patrick

Row 19: Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers

Row 20: Travis Kvapil, Ryan Truex R

Row 21: Parker Kligerman R, Joe Nemechek

Row 22: Timmy Hill

Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indy Sports Report. Follow Eric and the Indy Sports Report on Twitter.

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