Hamlin claims Homestead-Miami pole, spoils playoff party
By Matt Courson
November 17, 2017
HOMESTEAD, Fla.—Denny Hamlin edged out fellow Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. Friday to earn his second pole of 2017 and 26th of his career for the Ford EcoBoost 400.
Hamlin posted a time of 31.038 seconds in the third round of qualifying, five one-hundredths faster than Truex Jr.
All Championship 4 drivers qualified inside the top nine Friday evening at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
When the red and black flag waved signaling the end of the third round of qualifying, it was Denny Hamlin who will start on the top spot.
“When I got off of Turn 2, I knew that I was probably in the green by a lot,” Hamlin said of the last lap of qualifying. “But I just carried a little too much speed into (Turn) 3, and was a little higher than what I anticipated, and I just kind of committed to it. “I was hoping, at that point, I was just going to bounce off the wall, finish where I was going to finish, but it was good, it held on, and obviously it’s good to get a pole here in the last race.”
Starting alongside Hamlin will be Truex Jr.
Kyle Busch will start third, followed by Matt Kenseth in fourth and title contender Keselowski in fifth.
Kevin Harvick qualified ninth, the lowest among the championship contenders.
Denny Hamlin was eliminated from championship contention last weekend at Phoenix after contact with Chase Elliott resulted in a flat tire that sent him into the Turn 3 wall.
Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts