Denny Hamlin wins the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night race pole at Bristol

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.

American Muscle

“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

Pos No Driver Team Time Speed
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
34 27 Quin Houff Chevrolet 15.579 123.166
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 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

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