Hamlin edges Larson for Dover pole

Image by Matthew Thacker/LAT

Hamlin edges Larson for Dover pole


Hamlin edges Larson for Dover pole


Denny Hamlin will make his 500th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start Sunday afternoon in Dover, and he’ll do so from the pole.

Hamlin was the quickest in single-car qualifying with a lap of 166.984 mph (21.559 seconds). While he has never won at Dover, this is Hamlin’s fourth pole at the speedway and the 32nd of his career. It will be the second race this season that Hamlin has led the field to the green flag.

Joining Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on the front row will be fellow playoff racer Kyle Larson. The Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy driver clocked in at 166.960 mph.

Martin Truex Jr. (P), the most recent winner at Dover, will start third. Truex ran a fast lap of 166.205. However, Truex has his engineer, James Small, ejected for the rest of the weekend after the No. 19 Toyota failed inspection twice Saturday morning.

Completing the top five in qualifying were Kevin Harvick (P) and Chase Elliott (P). Harvick ran 165.998 mph while Elliott ran a lap of 165.937 mph. Elliott is the defending race winner at Dover.

Rounding out the top 10 were William Byron (P) at 165.738 mph, Aric Almirola at 165.670 mph, Erik Jones at 165.616 mph, Kurt Busch at 165.388 mph, and Ryan Blaney (P) at 165.282 mph.

Alex Bowman (P) was 12th quickest at 164.850 mph while Joey Logano (P) was 14th fastest at 164.692 mph.

Three playoff drivers will start outside the top 15. Brad Keselowski qualified 16th at 164.406 mph with Clint Bowyer 17th fastest at 164.376 mph. Kyle Busch will come from the 18th position after clocking in at 164.144 mph.

UP NEXT: Drydene 400 at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday.