Hamlin Scores Brickyard Pole

Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin won 11th career pole. (Photo: Getty Iamges)


INDIANAPOLIS - Denny Hamlin scored his first career Indianapolis Motor Speedway pole and will lead the field to green in Sunday’s Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Hamlin turned a lap of 182.763 mph in his Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx Toyota to earn his second pole of the season and 11th career top spot.

“I think our car was good,” said Hamlin. “The only disadvantage we had was that the sun was out at least on the front stretch from what I could see. When you do that, it’s more about just hitting your marks.

“You know the track is going to be slick and you have to prepare for that. It was -- the track was slick as what I thought. I just made sure I hit my marks -- that was the most important thing. It was a great day for our FedEx Express Toyota. We feel like we have a car that will race good.”

Carl Edwards qualified second and will join Hamlin on the front row for the 19th edition of the race.

“That was a really good lap for us,” said Edwards. “I am just proud of everyone for coming together and working together. Everyone at the shop, Chad Norris, Bob Osborne, all the engineers and everyone here at the track who said, ‘Alright, lets put everything we can into this for the next seven weeks.’ I know this is just the first lap of our run toward the Chase but that is a good lap.

Joey Logano, Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle completed the top five to put four Fords in the first three rows.

Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, defending race winner Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth completed the top 10.

“Our car has plenty of speed in it, so I am happy about that. Just have got to find that balance,” said Gordon, who is shooting for his fifth Brickyard win on Sunday. “I thought there was a couple of times in practice that we found it. Now we know we are starting ninth, we'll tweak on that a little bit because we know the aerodynamics and being in traffic is going to change that."

Michael McDowell had made the field but was disqualified after the nitrogen level in his rear shock was found to exceed allowed levels. That allowed Mike Bliss to move into the race.

Reed Sorenson, Joe Nemechek failed to qualify for the race.

Sunday’s race will take the green flag at 1:15 p.m. (ET).

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