Hamlin wins unofficial Watkins Glen pole on late flyer

Image by Miller/LAT

Hamlin wins unofficial Watkins Glen pole on late flyer


Hamlin wins unofficial Watkins Glen pole on late flyer


Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch scored the provisional front row at Watkins Glen International.

Hamlin will start from the pole after a lap of 125.534mph, his first pole of the season and also his first at Watkins Glen. The pole is the 27th of Hamlin’s career.

The fast lap for Busch was 125.427mph. Both Hamlin and Busch are past winners at Watkins Glen.

“It was good, it definitely wasn’t perfect by any means,” Hamlin said of his lap. “I was really conservative the first couple of runs through [Turns] 6 and 7, and that looked like that’s where I was getting beat the most. Knowing that you’re going to qualify 12th at worse, you push it in those areas, and that’s really where we kind of stretched it out.

Provisional results

“Great job by this whole FedEx Camry team. Had a great day today and hopefully, we can cap it off tomorrow.”

Chase Elliott was the best of the Chevrolet drivers as he qualified third with a lap at 125.421mph. Defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. will start fourth (125.252mph), and Kyle Larson completed the top five with a 124.775mph lap.

Rounding out the top 10 were Joey Logano (124.715mph), Aric Almirola (124.541mph), AJ Allmendinger (124.416mph), Erik Jones (124.406mph) and Kasey Kahne (124.406 mph).

Other notables from qualifying who missed advancing to the final round: Jimmie Johnson 13th, Kevin Harvick 16th, Brad Keselowski 18th, Clint Bowyer 19th, Kurt Busch 21st, Daniel Suarez 23rd, Alex Bowman 24th, and Matt Kenseth 28th.

Spencer Gallagher will make his Cup Series debut from the 36th position.

Thirty-seven cars will take the green flag.

All results are unofficial until inspection takes place Sunday morning.

UP NEXT: Go Bowling at the Glen at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday.