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Hamlin top of the Toyotas, Van Gisbergen stellar in Chicago

CHICAGO — “Today was the single-best day at the track in my racing career,” Denny Hamlin said after winning the NASCAR Cup Series pole in Chicago.

Hamlin ran a lap of 88.436 seconds, 0.044 seconds ahead of Toyota teammate Tyler Reddick.

All six Toyota cars will start in the top 14. Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr., Ty Gibbs and Bubba Wallace start fourth, 11th, 12th and 14th.

Shane Van Gisbergen was the best non-Toyota qualifier. In his Project91 Chevrolet, he stunned the field as one of the top 5 fastest drivers in practice and in Group B.

Van Gisbergen will start third after running a lap of 88.588 seconds in the final round of qualifying.

Fellow invader Jenson Button also made the final round of qualifying and was eighth-fastest, with a lap of 89.571 seconds (-1.135 seconds behind Hamlin).

The top 10 in qualifying are as follows: Hamlin, Reddick, Van Gisbergen, Bell, Daniel Suarez, Michael McDowell, Kyle Larson, Button, Joey Logano, A.J. Allmendinger.

There were several wrecks in practice and qualifying.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Justin Haley, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott all had incidents.

Stenhouse and Haley hit the wall on the inside and bounced to the outside wall in similar-looking wrecks in practice.

Elliott hit the wall with his left-front fender after missing turn 3 and Harvick nosed into the wall in qualifying.

They will all go to the rear with backup cars.

Austin Cindric’s team repaired his car after he spun and nosed into the wall. William Byron also repaired damage on his car.

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