Hamlin grabs pole for Brickyard 400

4:15 PM, Jul 28, 2012   |    comments
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Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Denny Hamlin won Saturday's qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to claim the pole for the Brickyard 400.

Hamlin, who was the 27th driver to make his qualifying run in the 46-car field, posted a lap at 182.763 mph. He benefited from cloud cover during his attempt. The 2.5-mile racetrack had been slick throughout the session. Hamlin earned his second pole of the season and the 11th of his Sprint Cup Series career.

"This is a great day for our team," Hamlin said. "We've been so close at this racetrack, and the stats don't show how good we've been at this track. This is a great qualifying effort. I feel like we've got a great race car for tomorrow."

Hamlin's best finish in six races at Indianapolis is third, which came in 2008. His previous best start here was 10th in 2007.

Carl Edwards, with new crew chief Chad Norris guiding his efforts, turned a lap at 181.984 mph to take the outside pole. Last week, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Norris replace Bob Osborne as Edwards' crew chief on the No. 99 team, starting at Indianapolis. Osborne, who had served as his crew chief since 2004, stepped down due to health reasons. He will, though, remain with Roush Fenway as a senior member of the organization's management team and steering committee.

"I just can't say enough about Chad Norris and everyone, from Bob to Chad and all of the engineers at Roush Fenway Racing getting together and putting a hundred-percent effort into this 99 car," Edwards said.

Edwards enters this race 11th in the standings and trails 10th-place Brad Keselowski by 46 points. He has not won a Sprint Cup race since March 2011 at Las Vegas. Seven races remain before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins.

Joey Logano qualified third, followed by Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle.

Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, who won the Brickyard 400 last year, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth, the current points leader, completed the top-10.

Other notable drivers and their starting positions include: Ryan Newman (11th), Kasey Kahne (15th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (20th), Brad Keselowski (22nd), Kevin Harvick (27th) and Tony Stewart (28th).

Reed Sorenson, Joe Nemechek and Michael McDowell failed to qualify for Sunday's 400-mile race at Indianapolis, which is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET).

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