Denny Hamlin gives Toyota its first Cup pole of 2019 season

Jim Utter

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.

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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.

1

11

United States
United States

 Denny Hamlin 

 

Toyota

14.848

 

129.230

2

42

United States
United States

 Kyle Larson 

 

Chevrolet

14.874

0.026

129.004

3

19

United States
United States

 Martin Truex Jr. 

 

Toyota

14.875

0.027

128.995

4

1

United States
United States

 Kurt Busch 

 

Chevrolet

14.896

0.048

128.813

5

10

United States
United States

 Aric Almirola 

 

Ford

14.901

0.053

128.770

6

9

United States
United States

 Chase Elliott 

 

Chevrolet

14.923

0.075

128.580

7

95

United States
United States

 Matt DiBenedetto 

 

Toyota

14.937

0.089

128.460

8

4

United States
United States

 Kevin Harvick 

 

Ford

14.940

0.092

128.434

9

20

United States
United States

 Erik Jones 

 

Toyota

14.945

0.097

128.391

10

88

United States
United States

 Alex Bowman 

 

Chevrolet

14.963

0.115

128.236

11

22

United States
United States

 Joey Logano 

 

Ford

14.976

0.128

128.125

12

12

United States
United States

 Ryan Blaney 

 

Ford

14.981

0.133

128.082

13

2

United States
United States

 Brad Keselowski 

 

Ford

14.997

0.149

127.946

14

6

United States
United States

 Ryan Newman 

 

Ford

15.002

0.154

127.903

15

17

United States
United States

 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 

 

Ford

15.028

0.180

127.682

16

38

United States
United States

 David Ragan 

 

Ford

15.053

0.205

127.470

17

8

United States
United States

 Daniel Hemric 

 

Chevrolet

15.084

0.236

127.208

18

41

Mexico
Mexico

 Daniel Suarez 

 

Ford

15.088

0.240

127.174

19

3

United States
United States

 Austin Dillon 

 

Chevrolet

15.116

0.268

126.938

20

14

United States
United States

 Clint Bowyer 

 

Ford

15.129

0.281

126.829

21

24

United States
United States

 William Byron 

 

Chevrolet

15.166

0.318

126.520

22

43

United States
United States

 Darrell Wallace Jr. 

 

Chevrolet

15.188

0.340

126.337

23

47

United States
United States

 Ryan Preece 

 

Chevrolet

15.192

0.344

126.303

24

13

United States
United States

 Ty Dillon 

 

Chevrolet

15.225

0.377

126.030

25

21

United States
United States

 Paul Menard 

 

Ford

15.243

0.395

125.881

26

32

United States
United States

 Corey Lajoie 

 

Ford

15.273

0.425

125.633

27

36

United States
United States

 Chase Briscoe 

 

Ford

15.275

0.427

125.617

28

34

United States
United States

 Michael McDowell 

 

Ford

15.311

0.463

125.322

29

37

United States
United States

 Chris Buescher 

 

Chevrolet

15.314

0.466

125.297

30

48

United States
United States

 Jimmie Johnson 

 

Chevrolet

15.331

0.483

125.158

31

18

United States
United States

 Kyle Busch 

 

Toyota

15.340

0.492

125.085

32

00

United States
United States

 Landon Cassill 

 

Chevrolet

15.366

0.518

124.873

33

51

United States
United States

 B.J. McLeod 

 

Chevrolet

15.468

0.620

124.050

34

27

United States
United States

 Quin Houff 

 

Chevrolet

15.579

0.731

123.166

35

53

United States
United States

 Josh Bilicki 

 

Chevrolet

15.631

0.783

122.756

36

54

United States
United States

 J.J. Yeley 

 

Ford

15.732

0.884

121.968

37

77

United States
United States

 Reed Sorenson 

 

Chevrolet

15.733

0.885

121.960

38

52

United States
United States

 Kyle Weatherman 

 

Chevrolet

15.786

0.938

121.551

39

15

United States
United States

 Ross Chastain 

 

Chevrolet

15.840

0.992

121.136

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