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Denny Hamlin On Pole, JGR Sweeps Front Row In Cup Qualifying At Pocono

Denny Hamlin car, NKP

Denny Hamlin claimed the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series’ M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday (July 23), going 169.991 mph in the second round of qualifying.

Hamlin earned his third pole of the season and 36th of his career after edging out his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch by about a tenth of a second.

Hendrick Motorsports cohorts Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson make up the second row in third and fourth place, respectively. Chris Buescher rounds out the top five.

Ryan Blaney is sixth, Bubba Wallace is seventh, Martin Truex Jr. starts eighth and Daniel Suarez slots in ninth.

Kurt Busch qualified 10th but will likely go to a backup car after he rear-ended the outside wall hard. He got out of the car on his own power, though.

A couple of cars had issues in practice; William Byron spun in group A, while Ross Chastain (who was fastest in his group) skidded near the end of group B. Chastain’s team worked on the front splitter before qualifying started.

Some other cars made slight contact with the wall, including Hamlin in practice and Harrison Burton and Erik Jones in qualifying. Jones was second quickest in group A’s practice, but his contact with the wall vastly slowed the momentum of No. 43.

The race will get underway on July 24 at 3 p.m. ET and will air on USA Network.

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