Denny Hamlin won the Pole Award for Saturday night’s 59th Annual Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race with a lap of 14.848 seconds, 129.230 mph.
“I didn’t know I beat (Kyle) Larson. I thought it was Martin (Truex Jr.). Perfect. Even better. I was wondering why he was giving me the finger when I pulled in. No, that’s awesome. We’re about to go up and watch this Xfinity race in the stands, so nice. I didn’t know what he ran. I knew we had a shot. The second practice especially, our car was really good and had good speed at the front of the run and end of the run. I was confident as long as the crew chief did his job and I did my job, we’d definitely have a chance.” Hamlin said.
This was Hamlin’s first pole of the season, fourth at Bristol and the 31st of his career.
“Fortunately for us, qualifying doesn’t pay any money and it doesn’t pay any points. It really hasn’t weighed on us. I mean obviously with the aero package that we have, you can make your car on most tracks as fast or slow as you want to, but you have concerns about racing after that. We’ve really focused on making our cars race well and that’s where all the accolades come from. Sure, you want to win a pole. That’s obviously a big deal.” Hamlin said.
The No. 42 of Kyle Larson had the pole for a second or two until he eventually had to settle to start outside pole. Larson had a time of 14.87 to start second.
“Overall, I’m happy with how we qualified and the grip I had in my car. In practice, I was really loose. So hopefully we’ll have a good race tomorrow and try and get my first Bristol Cup win.” Larson said.
Martin Truex Jr, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott, Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones and Alex Bowman rounded out the top-10 finishers.
“Bristol can either be really good or really bad. It seems like it can be that way no matter how many times you’ve been here. You just hope you hit on it right and can survive. It’s a long race and sometimes it’s hard to just make it to the end. I haven’t had a whole lot of success here anyways, so hopefully tomorrow is better.” Elliott said.
A few other notables that are starting outside the top-10. Joey Logano in 11th, Ryan Blaney in 12th, Brad Keselowski in 13th, Clint Bowyer in 20th, William Byron in 21st, Jimmie Johnson in 30th and Kyle Busch in 31st.
“We were decent, but I was hoping for a little bit more. I had a great first lap and just got a little bit out on the second one.” Keselowski said.
Winning at Bristol has came from various starting spots. Kyle Busch won from 17th in the spring, Kurt Busch won from ninth last August, Kyle Busch won from the pole in spring of 2018 and 18th in 2017, and Jimmie Johnson from 11th in spring of 2017.
The NRA Bass Pro Shops 500 is slated to get underway shortly after 7:30 p.m./ET live on NBCSN and PRN Radio.
Starting Line Up by Row
Bristol Motor Speedway
Provided by NASCAR Statistics – Friday, 8/16/2019 @ 06:46 PM Eastern
|1||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Freight Toyota||14.848||129.23|
|2||42||Kyle Larson||Credit One Bank Chevrolet||14.874||129.004|
|3||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Toyota||14.875||128.995|
|4||1||Kurt Busch||Monster Energy Chevrolet||14.896||128.813|
|5||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Ford||14.901||128.77|
|6||9||Chase Elliott||Hooters Spirits Chevrolet||14.923||128.58|
|7||95||Matt DiBenedetto||Toyota Express Maintenance Toyota||14.937||128.46|
|8||4||Kevin Harvick||Busch Beer Ford||14.94||128.434|
|9||20||Erik Jones||STANLEY Toyota||14.945||128.391|
|10||88||Alex Bowman||Nationwide Chevrolet||14.963||128.236|
|11||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil Ford||14.976||128.125|
|12||12||Ryan Blaney||Dent Wizard Ford||14.981||128.082|
|13||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Ford||14.997||127.946|
|14||6||Ryan Newman||Acronis Ford||15.002||127.903|
|15||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Fastenal Ford||15.028||127.682|
|16||38||David Ragan||MDS Ford||15.053||127.47|
|17||8||Daniel Hemric #||Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet||15.084||127.208|
|18||41||Daniel Suarez||Haas Automation Ford||15.088||127.174|
|19||3||Austin Dillon||Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Chevrolet||15.116||126.938|
|20||14||Clint Bowyer||Peak Lighting Ford||15.129||126.829|
|21||24||William Byron||Liberty University Chevrolet||15.166||126.52|
|22||43||Bubba Wallace||United States Air Force Chevrolet||15.188||126.337|
|23||47||Ryan Preece #||Kroger Chevrolet||15.192||126.303|
|24||13||Ty Dillon||GEICO Military Chevrolet||15.225||126.03|
|25||21||Paul Menard||Menards/Knauf Ford||15.243||125.881|
|26||32||Corey LaJoie||Incredible Bank Ford||15.273||125.633|
|27||36||Matt Tifft #||Surface Sunscreen Ford||15.275||125.617|
|28||34||Michael McDowell||Love’s Travel Stops Ford||15.311||125.322|
|29||37||Chris Buescher||Bush’s Beans Chevrolet||15.314||125.297|
|30||48||Jimmie Johnson||Ally Chevrolet||15.331||125.158|
|31||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s Toyota||15.34||125.085|
|32||0||Landon Cassill(i)||Permatex Chevrolet||15.366||124.873|
|33||51||BJ McLeod(i)||Pinnacle Sports and Entertainment Chevrolet||15.468||124.05|
|35||53||Josh Bilicki(i)||AQRE Chevrolet||15.631||122.756|
|36||54||JJ Yeley||PODS Ford||15.732||121.968|
|37||77||Reed Sorenson||Go-Parts.com Chevrolet||15.733||121.96|
|38||52||Kyle Weatherman(i)||Belmont Classic Cars Chevrolet||15.786||121.551|
|39||15||Ross Chastain(i)||Chantz Auto Group Chevrolet||15.84||121.136|