Denny Hamlin is hoping a milestone start will help him overcome what has been somewhat of a jinx that he’s battled throughout his NASCAR Cup career.
Hamlin will make the 500th start of his Cup career Sunday at Dover International Speedway. He’ll also start from the pole for the fourth time of his career at the 1-mile oval.
But for all his success to lead the field to green at the all-concrete banked track, Hamlin still has yet to win his first Cup race at Dover. He hopes to change that Sunday in his 28th Cup start there.
Hamlin has just four top-five finishes at Dover, with his best outing being a runner-up finish to Chase Elliott in last fall’s playoff race there.
Harvick won the pole during Saturday’s qualifying with an effort of 166.984 mph, getting past Kyle Larson, who will start on the outside pole after recording a speed of 166.960 mph.
Martin Truex Jr. will start third (166.205 mph). That was after Truex’s engineer, James Small, was ejected from the track Saturday morning after the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota failed twice to pass pre-qualifying inspection.
Truex will be joined on Row 2 by Kevin Harvick (165.998 mph).
Row 3 will have last Sunday’s Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval winner Chase Elliott (165.937 mph) and Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron (165.738 mph).
Points leader Kyle Busch (164.144 mph) will start from the 18th position.
Chase Elliott is the defending winner of this race, while Truex won in May at the Monster Mile.
The race is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on NBCSN.