Denny Hamlin gives Toyota its first Cup pole of 2019 season

As difficult as it may be to believe, Denny Hamlin on Friday provided Toyota its first pole of the season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Denny Hamlin gives Toyota its first Cup pole of 2019 season

One of the last five of 39 drivers to qualify, Hamlin’s average lap speed of 129.230 mph just edged Chevrolet driver Kyle Larson (129.004 mph) for the top starting position in Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Kurt Busch qualified fourth and Aric Almirola completed the top-five.

The pole is the first for Hamlin this season and remarkably the first for a Toyota driver, although they have won 11 of the season’s first 23 races.

It’s also the 31st of Hamlin’s career and fourth at Bristol.

Asked if he could believe this was Toyota’s first pole of 2019, Hamlin said, “Yeah, I can believe it. I’ve lived it. I’m proud of this whole team for giving me such a great car. The guys are on it right now – it’s just unbelievable with what they’re doing with these race cars.

“I’m just trying to learn every week, doing everything I can to get better and the results are showing it.”

Entering Saturday night’s race, Hamlin has three wins this season and has finished fifth or better in the last five races. He started fifth and finished fifth in the spring Bristol race.

“The 2010 season is really when I can remember it being as consistently good. It’s week-to-week though, you’re only as good as your last race,” Hamlin said. “We sure don’t want to stink it up when we go out here tomorrow night but we have a great starting spot.

“We need to go out there, set the pace and get this thing in Victory Lane.”

Rounding out the top-10 starters are Chase Elliott, Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones and Alex Bowman.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Time Gap Mph
1 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 14.848   129.230
2 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 14.874 0.026 129.004
3 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 14.875 0.027 128.995
4 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 14.896 0.048 128.813
5 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 14.901 0.053 128.770
6 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 14.923 0.075 128.580
7 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 14.937 0.089 128.460
8 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 14.940 0.092 128.434
9 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 14.945 0.097 128.391
10 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 14.963 0.115 128.236
11 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 14.976 0.128 128.125
12 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 14.981 0.133 128.082
13 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 14.997 0.149 127.946
14 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 15.002 0.154 127.903
15 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 15.028 0.180 127.682
16 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 15.053 0.205 127.470
17 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 15.084 0.236 127.208
18 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 15.088 0.240 127.174
19 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 15.116 0.268 126.938
20 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 15.129 0.281 126.829
21 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 15.166 0.318 126.520
22 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 15.188 0.340 126.337
23 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 15.192 0.344 126.303
24 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 15.225 0.377 126.030
25 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 15.243 0.395 125.881
26 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 15.273 0.425 125.633
27 36 United States Chase Briscoe  Ford 15.275 0.427 125.617
28 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 15.311 0.463 125.322
29 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 15.314 0.466 125.297
30 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 15.331 0.483 125.158
31 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 15.340 0.492 125.085
32 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 15.366 0.518 124.873
33 51 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 15.468 0.620 124.050
34 27 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 15.579 0.731 123.166
35 53 United States Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 15.631 0.783 122.756
36 54 United States J.J. Yeley  Ford 15.732 0.884 121.968
37 77 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 15.733 0.885 121.960
38 52 United States Kyle Weatherman  Chevrolet 15.786 0.938 121.551
39 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 15.840 0.992 121.136
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Series NASCAR Cup
Event Bristol II
Author Jim Utter
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