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Hamlin Wins Bristol Pole

Starting Lineup

Denny Hamlin won the pole for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Hamlin went out late in the session and posted a lap 14.848 seconds, 129.230 mph for his first pole of the season and also for Toyota. It’s Hamlin’s 31st career pole.

“I’m proud of this whole team for giving me such a great car,” Hamlin said. “The guys are on it right now—it’s just unbelievable with what they’re doing with these race cars.”

The starting order will become official after pre-race inspection on Saturday. The cars will sit overnight covered on the lift gates of the haulers.

Kyle Larson qualified second for his fourth front-row start at Bristol in 12 races.

“I’m happy with how we qualified and the grip I had in my car,” Larson said. “In practice, I was really loose. So hopefully we’ll have a good race tomorrow and try and get my first Bristol Cup win.”

Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola rounded out the top five.

“Our Smithfield Ford Mustang has been good since we got here,” Almirola said. “I love this place. It’s a really good place for me, so hopefully we can have some lady luck on our side this time.”

Matt DiBenedetto, who was fastest in final practice, equaled his career best start, seventh, he set last month at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“It’s fun coming out and having good speed,” DiBenedetto said. “I feel good about our car. I actually didn’t feel good about our qualifying lap. I’m glad we still ended up seventh because I, along with a lot of people, got really loose.”

Eight-time Bristol winner Kyle Busch went out first in qualifying and posted the 31st fastest lap.