FONTANA, Calif. – Denny Hamlin set the fastest time in qualifying Friday and will start from the pole during Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.
Hamlin’s 38.410-second lap at 187.451 mph was enough to give him the number one spot in qualifying over the Ford of Greg Biffle. Biffle will have to start at the rear of the field after losing an engine in practice.
“Really I thought we would have gotten knocked off (the pole) going out third,” said Hamlin. “With the track picking up there at the end we definitely had some tough bullets we were dodging.”
The pole is Hamlin’s third in the last six races at Auto Club Speedway and his second-straight at the two-mile oval.
Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth filled the top five in qualifying. Keselowski will also start at the rear after breaking an engine in practice.
Completing the top-10 in qualifying were Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch. Only 43 cars attempted to qualify, so there were no teams that failed to qualify.