DOVER, DE (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is on the pole position and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson is on the outside of the front row as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continue today at Dover International Speedway.
Hamlin’s fast lap of 21.559-seconds (166.984 mph) was a mere 0.003-seconds faster than Larson’s fast lap of 21.562 (166.960 mph) around the “Monster Mile”.
Hamlin’s pole position is his 32nd career pole in 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. The pole is Hamlin’s 2nd in 2019 and fourth pole in 28-races at Dover.
“We definitely had a great qualifying effort there,” said Hamlin. “The track temp stayed pretty consistent through but certainly didn’t thing we were going run an 21.50 by any means of the imagination. Proud to have that kind of effort from our team.”
Larson’s second starting position is his 13th top-10 start of 2019 and ninth in 12-races at Dover. Larson took to Twitter afterwards to explain how Hamlin was able to edge the No. 42 Clover Chevrolet from the top starting spot.
Even his mom knows that cloud cover and going out early helped him get that pole…. 😂 but I’d feel better if anyone else would have beat me. https://t.co/bxqalPCRHl
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) October 5, 2019
Hamlin’s teammate Martin Truex Jr will start third after a fast lap of 21.660-seconds (166.205 mph). This is Truex’ 17th top-10 start at Dover and 14th in 30-races this season.
Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick will start fourth and last week’s winner at Charlotte, Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott, rounds out the top-5.
Hamlin knows being out front can pay huge dividends as the “Monster Mile” is one of the most unforgiving tracks on the circuit.
“We can take every advantage we can at this race track,” said Hamlin. “It’s been pretty tough on me. Certainly feel like the advantage of having that number one pit stall and a very fast car bode pretty well for us.”
Hamlin currently sits third in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings, trailing his teammates Kyle Busch and Truex by 16 and 11-points respectively.
The green flag for the Drydene 400 drops at 2:30 p.m. ET with Television coverage starting at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN and on radio at SiriusXM NASCAR radio.