Hamlin Tops Martinsville Qualifying

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Denny Hamlin will start first on Sunday followed by the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson and Gibbs team mate Kyle Busch. (NASCAR Photo)
Denny Hamlin will start first on Sunday followed by the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson and Gibbs team mate Kyle Busch. (NASCAR Photo)
Denny Hamlin will start first on Sunday followed by the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson and Gibbs team mate Kyle Busch. (NASCAR Photo)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Denny Hamlin hasn’t forgotten how to get around Martinsville Speedway.

The four-time Sprint Cup Martinsville race winner made up for missing the spring event at Martinsville because of an injury by winning the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 during qualifying on Friday.

Hamlin’s 19.013-second lap at 99.595 mph around the .526-mile asphalt oval was enough to give him his fifth pole of 2013.

Championship leader and spring Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson qualified second, putting down a 19.061-second lap during his two qualifying laps. His championship rival Matt Kenseth qualified fourth, with Kenseth’s teammate Kyle Busch separating the two on the starting grid.

Busch actually matched Johnson’s qualifying lap, but because Johnson is the championship leader he will start second on Sunday.

“We did some testing for our teammates for this race at another race track and it definitely seemed to help us,” Hamlin said. “Proud to have all those JGR cars in the top four. That is pretty awesome.

Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick completed the top 10 in qualifying.