Denny Hamlin has the feel for Bristol, at least for this weekend, when it comes to qualifying. Just two hours after securing the best starting spot for the Xfinity Series race, Hamlin went back out onto the high-banked half-mile of Bristol Motor Speedway and scored the pole for the Cup Series race. Hamlin bested his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards to claim the premier starting location. Hamlin laid down a lap of 14.602 seconds that translates into a speed of 131.407 mph. The pole is Hamlin’s 22nd Cup pole of his career.
Busch will start beside Hamlin, just as he started the NXS race. Busch put down a lap in the final session of 14.618 seconds. It was his sixth lap of the final session, but it was .016 slower than Hamlin. Busch’s lap translated to 131.263 mph. Edwards slotted in third among the JGR contingent at 130.655 mph. David Ragan was the first driver not from the JGR stable in qualifying. Ragan’s lap was 14.708 seconds for a speed of 130.460 mph. Joey Logano rounded out the top five with a 130.344 mph lap.
This will be Hamlin’s 350th career Cup start, and his second pole of the 2015 season. Hamlin has run 20 races at Bristol and this is the third time he will start from the pole position. This is Busch’s 21st start at Bristol and the second time he will start in the top two. This is Busch’s second top-two start of the season. Edwards is starting third for ninth top-three start at Bristol in his 23 career starts there. It will be his seventh top-three start of 2015. Brett Moffitt was the fastest rookie and will start 27th.
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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