Denny Hamlin Wins the Pole for Sunday's Ford Ecoboost 400

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HOMESTEAD, FL - RIS - Denny Hamlin snatched the pole from series leader Martin Truex, Jr. in the final seconds in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Monster Energy Cup championship race. Truex had turned the fastest lap in both Round 1 and Round 2 of the three-round, knockout style qualifying session and had the fastest lap until the final seconds of Round 3 when Hamlin turned a lap at 173.980 mph, besting Truex’s lap of 173.952 mph.


“It’s good to get a pole here in the last race,” Hamlin said. 

This is Hamlin’s 26th career pole, coming in his 434th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start, and second on a mile-and-a-half racetrack in 2017. Hamlin is trying to play the role of spoiler this week after getting knocked out of the playoffs last week at Phoenix.

“It’s half satisfaction, half disappointment because you only run this good for so long,” Hamlin said. “We’ve performed great over the last few races, better than any stretch of my career that we’ve performed for that consecutive amount of weeks. All that’s been good but we don’t have our chance."

By qualifying second, Truex Jr. matches his best starting spot at Homestead-Miami Speedway, also qualifying on the outside of Row 1 in 2011.

“It was a good day overall, that was a bit dramatic," Truex Jr. said. "We missed it a little bit that last round and lost more grip than I anticipated. We made some adjustments and knew it was going to go that way, but just not far enough. I can’t say enough about this group, just a really strong day – five one-thousandths away from it being a perfect day. Just proud of everyone and they did what they needed to do today and we’ll get to work tomorrow.”

All four Championship contenders qualified in the top nine positions, with Kyle Busch qualifying third, Brad Keselowski fifth and Kevin Harvick in ninth. 

Keselowski continues his streak of seven straight top-eight qualifying efforts at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Decent effort position wise. These races are so long that where you start isn’t super important,” Keselowski said. “Getting a decent pit selection as qualifying does for you is not a bad thing."

Harvick will start the lowest of the four championship contenders but brings a streak of nine-straight top-10 finishes at Homestead-Miami.

"Just about spun out there going into turn 1," Harvick said. "I don't know if I just tried to roll a little too much speed. Got the car sliding and missed the whole corner. They did a good job trying to get it back out. Yeah, just missed the lap there and got it loose and wound up ninth. Good thing is it's ninth, it's not 39th.  And there's nobody in the first pit box."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is making their final start as a full-time driver in the Monster Energy Cup Series this weekend. Earnhardt qualified 24th, but will start at the rear of the field after the team changed an engine earlier in the day. He did not turn a lap in Round 2.

“Well, we would have liked to have got more laps so we could work on the car," Earnhardt said. "The car is a little bit tight in the center.  I’m anxious to get in the car tomorrow so we can get some more time with it.  I felt pretty good about the speed in the car, we just got to get it running a little bit better, handle a little bit better for the long run. I’m afraid it’s going to get too tight."

After announcing earlier in the day that she will just run the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 next season, Danics Patrick went out and qualified 25th.

All 39 drivers who attempted a qualifying lap will start Sunday’s 267 lap, 400.5 mile race.

Time Trial Results - 19th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400 - Homestead-Miami Speedway

Qualifying Round: 1
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, 30.743, 175.650, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, 30.904, 174.735, 1, 1, 0.161, 0.161
3) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 30.931, 174.582, 1, 1, 0.188, 0.027
4) Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 31.103, 173.617, 1, 1, 0.360, 0.172
5) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 31.105, 173.606, 1, 1, 0.362, 0.002
6) Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, 31.183, 173.171, 1, 1, 0.440, 0.078
7) Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One/DC Solar Chevrolet, 31.188, 173.144, 1, 1, 0.445, 0.005
8) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 31.208, 173.033, 1, 1, 0.465, 0.020
9) Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 31.228, 172.922, 1, 1, 0.485, 0.020
10) Chase Elliott, No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet, 31.243, 172.839, 1, 1, 0.500, 0.015
11) Michael McDowell, No. 95 Rohto Jolt Eyedrops Chevrolet, 31.255, 172.772, 1, 1, 0.512, 0.012
12) Erik Jones #, No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota, 31.267, 172.706, 1, 1, 0.524, 0.012
13) Daniel Suarez #, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 31.286, 172.601, 1, 1, 0.543, 0.019
14) Ryan Blaney, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, 31.288, 172.590, 1, 1, 0.545, 0.002
15) Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 AXALTA Chevrolet, 31.320, 172.414, 1, 1, 0.577, 0.032
16) Paul Menard, No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, 31.337, 172.320, 1, 1, 0.594, 0.017
17) Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW WeatherTech Chevrolet, 31.348, 172.260, 1, 1, 0.605, 0.011
18) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, 31.355, 172.221, 1, 1, 0.612, 0.007
19) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 31.391, 172.024, 1, 1, 0.648, 0.036
20) Matt Kenseth, No. 20 DeWalt Hurricane Relief Toyota, 31.405, 171.947, 1, 1, 0.662, 0.014
21) Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet, 31.426, 171.832, 1, 1, 0.683, 0.021
22) Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford, 31.457, 171.663, 1, 1, 0.714, 0.031
23) Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, 31.486, 171.505, 1, 1, 0.743, 0.029
24) Trevor Bayne, No. 6 Roush Performance Ford, 31.502, 171.418, 1, 1, 0.759, 0.016
25) Danica Patrick, No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford, 31.588, 170.951, 1, 1, 0.845, 0.086
26) AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet, 31.601, 170.881, 1, 1, 0.858, 0.013
27) Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet, 31.621, 170.773, 3, 3, 0.878, 0.020
28) Landon Cassill, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford, 31.632, 170.713, 1, 1, 0.889, 0.011
29) Chris Buescher, No. 37 Clorox Chevrolet, 31.647, 170.632, 1, 1, 0.904, 0.015
30) David Ragan, No. 38 Weather Channel/Flagship Solutions Ford, 31.650, 170.616, 1, 1, 0.907, 0.003
31) Matt DiBenedetto, No. 32 Can-Am/Kappa Ford, 31.814, 169.737, 1, 1, 1.071, 0.164
32) Ty Dillon #, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 31.831, 169.646, 3, 3, 1.088, 0.017
33) Cole Whitt, No. 72 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet, 32.014, 168.676, 1, 1, 1.271, 0.183
34) Corey LaJoie(i), No. 23 myfreedomsmoke.com Toyota, 32.301, 167.177, 2, 2, 1.558, 0.287
35) Joey Gase(i), No. 83* Eternal Fan/Premier Millwright Toyota, 32.796, 164.654, 3, 3, 2.053, 0.495
36) Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 33 hulu Chevrolet, 32.801, 164.629, 1, 1, 2.058, 0.005
37) Reed Sorenson, No. 15 Xchange of America Chevrolet, 32.997, 163.651, 1, 1, 2.254, 0.196
38) David Starr(i), No. 66* Eureka Chevrolet, 33.025, 163.512, 1, 2, 2.282, 0.028
39) Ray Black II(i), No. 51* Scuba Life Chevrolet, 34.010, 158.777, 2, 6, 3.267, 0.985

Qualifying Round: 2
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, 30.889, 174.820, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, 30.918, 174.656, 1, 1, 0.029, 0.029
3) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 30.949, 174.481, 1, 1, 0.060, 0.031
4) Matt Kenseth, No. 20 DeWalt Hurricane Relief Toyota, 30.972, 174.351, 1, 1, 0.083, 0.023
5) Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 30.987, 174.267, 1, 1, 0.098, 0.015
6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 31.019, 174.087, 1, 1, 0.130, 0.032
7) Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One/DC Solar Chevrolet, 31.081, 173.740, 1, 1, 0.192, 0.062
8) Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, 31.195, 173.105, 1, 1, 0.306, 0.114
9) Ryan Blaney, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, 31.204, 173.055, 1, 1, 0.315, 0.009
10) Daniel Suarez #, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 31.247, 172.817, 1, 1, 0.358, 0.043
11) Trevor Bayne, No. 6 Roush Performance Ford, 31.317, 172.430, 1, 1, 0.428, 0.070
12) Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 31.322, 172.403, 1, 1, 0.433, 0.005
13) Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet, 31.322, 172.403, 1, 1, 0.433, 0.000
14) Erik Jones #, No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota, 31.365, 172.166, 1, 2, 0.476, 0.043
15) Paul Menard, No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, 31.367, 172.155, 1, 1, 0.478, 0.002
16) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 31.396, 171.996, 1, 1, 0.507, 0.029
17) Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW WeatherTech Chevrolet, 31.459, 171.652, 1, 1, 0.570, 0.063
18) Chase Elliott, No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet, 31.470, 171.592, 1, 1, 0.581, 0.011
19) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 31.524, 171.298, 1, 1, 0.635, 0.054
20) Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford, 31.541, 171.206, 1, 1, 0.652, 0.017
21) Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, 31.577, 171.011, 1, 1, 0.688, 0.036
22) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, 31.595, 170.913, 1, 1, 0.706, 0.018
23) Michael McDowell, No. 95 Rohto Jolt Eyedrops Chevrolet, 31.640, 170.670, 1, 1, 0.751, 0.045
24) Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 AXALTA Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----

Qualifying Round: 3
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 31.038, 173.980, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, 31.043, 173.952, 1, 1, 0.005, 0.005
3) Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, 31.047, 173.930, 1, 1, 0.009, 0.004
4) Matt Kenseth, No. 20 DeWalt Hurricane Relief Toyota, 31.272, 172.678, 1, 1, 0.234, 0.225
5) Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 31.313, 172.452, 1, 1, 0.275, 0.041
6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 31.330, 172.359, 1, 1, 0.292, 0.017
7) Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One/DC Solar Chevrolet, 31.358, 172.205, 1, 1, 0.320, 0.028
8) Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, 31.376, 172.106, 1, 1, 0.338, 0.018
9) Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 31.418, 171.876, 1, 2, 0.380, 0.042
10) Daniel Suarez #, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 31.434, 171.789, 1, 1, 0.396, 0.016
11) Ryan Blaney, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, 31.532, 171.255, 1, 1, 0.494, 0.098
12) Trevor Bayne, No. 6 Roush Performance Ford, 31.556, 171.124, 1, 1, 0.518, 0.024

Starting Line Up - 19th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400 - Homestead-Miami Speedway
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed
1) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 31.038, 173.980
2) Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, 31.043, 173.952
3) Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, 31.047, 173.930
4) Matt Kenseth, No. 20 DeWalt Hurricane Relief Toyota, 31.272, 172.678
5) Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 31.313, 172.452
6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 31.330, 172.359
7) Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One/DC Solar Chevrolet, 31.358, 172.205
8) Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, 31.376, 172.106
9) Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 31.418, 171.876
10) Daniel Suarez #, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 31.434, 171.789
11) Ryan Blaney, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, 31.532, 171.255
12) Trevor Bayne, No. 6 Roush Performance Ford, 31.556, 171.124
13) Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet, 31.322, 172.403
14) Erik Jones #, No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota, 31.365, 172.166
15) Paul Menard, No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, 31.367, 172.155
16) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 31.396, 171.996
17) Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW WeatherTech Chevrolet, 31.459, 171.652
18) Chase Elliott, No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet, 31.470, 171.592
19) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 31.524, 171.298
20) Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford, 31.541, 171.206
21) Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, 31.577, 171.011
22) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, 31.595, 170.913
23) Michael McDowell, No. 95 Rohto Jolt Eyedrops Chevrolet, 31.640, 170.670
24) Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 AXALTA Chevrolet, 31.320, 172.414
25) Danica Patrick, No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford, 31.588, 170.951
26) AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet, 31.601, 170.881
27) Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet, 31.621, 170.773
28) Landon Cassill, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford, 31.632, 170.713
29) Chris Buescher, No. 37 Clorox Chevrolet, 31.647, 170.632
30) David Ragan, No. 38 Weather Channel/Flagship Solutions Ford, 31.650, 170.616
31) Matt DiBenedetto, No. 32 Can-Am/Kappa Ford, 31.814, 169.737
32) Ty Dillon #, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 31.831, 169.646
33) Cole Whitt, No. 72 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet, 32.014, 168.676
34) Corey LaJoie(i), No. 23 myfreedomsmoke.com Toyota, 32.301, 167.177
35) Joey Gase(i), No. 83 Eternal Fan/Premier Millwright Toyota, 32.796, 164.654
36) Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 33 hulu Chevrolet, 32.801, 164.629
37) Reed Sorenson, No. 15 Xchange of America Chevrolet, 32.997, 163.651
38) David Starr(i), No. 66 Eureka Chevrolet, 33.025, 163.512
39) Ray Black II(i), No. 51 Scuba Life Chevrolet, 34.010, 158.777
(i) ineligible for points in this series

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2017, Issue 11, Posted 11:52 PM, 11.17.2017