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Denny Hamlin Wins Martinsville Pole, Larson Qualifies 14th



Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin won the pole position for Sunday’s First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Hamlin’s lap of 19.354-seconds (97.840 mph) was 0.029-seconds faster than Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott’s 19.383-seconds (97.694 mph) who qualified.  Elliott however will have to drop to the rear of the field to start the race due.  Elliott’s engine blew-up 5-minutes into the first practice and under NASCAR rules any team that changes an engine at time during a race weekend has to start at the back.

Hamlin’s JGR teammate, Martin Truex Jr, qualified third followed by Stewart Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola.  Michael McDowell rounded out the top 5.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson ran the same time as JGR’s Kyle Busch, 19.547-seconds, and will start 14th in the No. 42 Clover Chevrolet.

Larson’s CGR teammate, Kurt Busch, will start 25th after turning a fast lap of 19.745-seconds (95.903 mph) in the No. 1 Global Poker Chevrolet.

The pole position was the third for Hamlin in 2019 and the 33rd of his career.

The First Data 500 starts at 3:00 p.m.  The race will be televised by NBCSN and can be heard on Motor Racing Network affiliates and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

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