Dover, DE (Sports Network) - Denny Hamlin won his second consecutive pole by
posting the quickest lap in Friday's qualifying for the FedEx 400 at Dover
Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with FedEx as his team's
sponsor, turned a lap at 157.978 mph for his third pole of the season and the
15th of his Sprint Cup Series career. He won the pole for 600-mile race at
Charlotte last week.
It's also the second straight pole win for Hamlin at Dover. He started first
for the September 2012 race here.
Hamlin continues to march forward in the point standings in hopes of making
the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The 32-year-old driver missed four
races -- Martinsville, Texas, Kansas and Richmond -- while recovering from a
compression fracture in his lower back that he suffered during an accident in
the March 24 race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. After finishing
second at Darlington and fourth at Charlotte, Hamlin has moved up to 24th in
points. He was 31st prior to Darlington. There are 14 races remaining before
the Chase begins.
Martin Truex Jr., who hails from nearby Mayetta, NJ, earned the outside pole
with a lap 157.798 mph. Truex's lone victory in NASCAR's premier series came
in June 2007 at Dover (215 races ago).
Hamlin's teammates Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth qualified third and fourth,
respectively, giving JGR three of the top-four starting positions. Ryan Newman
completed the top-five.
Mark Martin took the sixth spot, followed by Kevin Harvick, who won last
Sunday at Charlotte, Brad Keselowski, the defending series champion, Joey
Logano and Jamie McMurray.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 12th, while his Hendrick Motorsports teammate,
Jimmie Johnson, placed 24th. Johnson is the current points leader and winner
of last year's spring race at Dover. He is tied with Bobby Allison and Richard
Petty for most all-time wins at this track with seven.
Danica Patrick will start 39th.
All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field for Sunday's
400-mile race at Dover, which is scheduled to start just after 1 p.m. ET.
The Sports Network