Saturday, August 13, 2022

NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono starting lineup: Denny Hamlin wins third pole of 2022

Denny Hamlin
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Denny Hamlin won the pole for the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, giving him the top starting spot at one of his best racetracks and his third pole overall in 2022. Hamlin laid down a lap of 52.944 (169.991 mph) in the final round of qualifying to beat Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.

Hamlin’s third pole of 2022 now ties him for the most in Cup this season, joining Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell in that category. It is also his fourth career pole at Pocono, a track where he has earned six of his 48 career victories, including his very first back in 2006.

In Saturday’s practice and qualifying session, Turn 3 proved to be the trouble spot on the Tricky Triangle. William Byron and Ross Chastain both spun on corner exit in practice, but both managed to keep their cars out of the wall. Kurt Busch was not so lucky:  He spun coming to the green flag for his final round qualifying attempt, pounding the outside wall and forcing him and his 23XI Racing team to a backup car for Sunday.

Although Hamlin was able to take the pole, his weekend so far has not been without its problems. Hamlin’s car was one of five to fail pre-qualifying tech inspection twice, resulting in a loss of pit selection and the ejection of a crew member from the weekend. Other teams incurring that penalty included those of Corey LaJoie, Chris Buescher, Ty Dillon and Josh Bilicki.

M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 starting lineup

  1. #11 – Denny Hamlin
  2. #18 – Kyle Busch
  3. #9 – Chase Elliott
  4. #5 – Kyle Larson
  5. #17 – Chris Buescher
  6. #12 – Ryan Blaney
  7. #23 – Bubba Wallace
  8. #19 – Martin Truex Jr.
  9. #99 – Daniel Suarez
  10. #45 – Kurt Busch
  11. #20 – Christopher Bell
  12. #10 – Aric Almirola
  13. #14 – Chase Briscoe
  14. #22 – Joey Logano
  15. #3 – Austin Dillon
  16. #8 – Tyler Reddick
  17. #48 – Alex Bowman
  18. #24 – William Byron
  19. #47 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  20. #2 – Austin Cindric (R)
  21. #1 – Ross Chastain
  22. #16 – Noah Gragson
  23. #7 – Corey LaJoie
  24. #4 – Kevin Harvick
  25. #34 – Michael McDowell
  26. #6 – Brad Keselowski
  27. #42 – Ty Dillon
  28. #21 – Harrison Burton (R)
  29. #38 – Todd Gilliland (R)
  30. #31 – Justin Haley
  31. #77 – Josh Bilicki
  32. #41 – Cole Custer
  33. #15 – J.J. Yeley
  34. #43 – Erik Jones
  35. #78 – B.J. McLeod
  36. #51 – Cody Ware

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