Denny Hamlin may have no chance at winning the Sprint Cup Series championship this season but he does have a good shot to repeat his August win of a year ago at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Hamlin won the pole for Saturday night’s Irwin Night Race, using an average lap speed of 128.909 mph to claim the top starting position.
The pole is Hamlin’s fourth this season and 16th of his career. Hamlin missed four races earlier this season when he fractured a vertebra in his back.
“It was a great lap for us. Winning a race this weekend would not make our year, but it would definitely make our summer with the way things have gone,” Hamlin said.
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Kurt Busch qualified second, Carl Edwards third, Brian Vickers fourth and Matt Kenseth fifth. Series points leader Jimmie Johnson will line up 13th.
Kyle Busch, who has won five times at Bristol, wrecked during his qualifying lap and will start from the back of the field.