NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 
                       === Hamlin grabs pole at Dover ===
 
 Dover,  DE (Sports  Network) - Denny Hamlin won his second consecutive pole by
 posting  the  quickest lap in  Friday's qualifying for  the FedEx 400 at Dover
 International Speedway.
 
 Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with FedEx as his team's
 sponsor,  turned a lap at 157.978 mph for his third pole of the season and the
 15th  of  his Sprint Cup Series  career. He won  the pole for 600-mile race at
 Charlotte last week.
 
 It's  also the second  straight pole win for Hamlin at Dover. He started first
 for the September 2012 race here.
 
 With  temperatures  reaching close to  90 degrees, drivers  had to deal with a
 very slick track during qualifying.
 
 "When I ran the lap, I wasn't in love with it," Hamlin said. "Fundamentally, I
 thought  I  didn't do that  great of  a job. I  knew the track conditions were
 really  bad. We were  sixth in practice (held earlier in the day), and we were
 only  a tenth (of a  second) off of what we ran in practice. In the back of my
 mind, I'm preparing for the worst, hoping for the best."
 
 Hamlin  continues  to march forward in  the point standings in hopes of making
 the  Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The 32-year-old driver missed four
 races  -- Martinsville,  Texas, Kansas and Richmond -- while recovering from a
 compression  fracture in his lower back that he suffered during an accident in
 the  March  24 race at  Auto Club Speedway  in Fontana, Calif. After finishing
 second  at Darlington and  fourth at Charlotte, Hamlin has moved up to 24th in
 points.  He was  31st prior to Darlington. There are 14 races remaining before
 the Chase begins.
 
 Martin  Truex Jr.,  who hails from nearby Mayetta, NJ, earned the outside pole
 with  a lap  157.798 mph. Truex's lone victory in NASCAR's premier series came
 in June 2007 at Dover (215 races ago).
 
 "We  weren't sure what  the track was going to give us there," Truex said. "We
 knew  it was going to be a lot slicker. (Crew chief) Chad (Johnston) made some
 really  good adjustments.  The car  was close,  but it  wasn't perfect  by any
 means. Good job by all the guys (No. 56 team)."
 
 Hamlin's  teammates  Kyle Busch  and Matt Kenseth  qualified third and fourth,
 respectively, giving JGR three of the top-four starting positions. Ryan Newman
 completed the top-five.
 
 "I  was a little too tight and had to slow up a little bit through turns 3 and
 4  and  just missed our opportunity  to get another pole  for us, but it was a
 great effort by the (No. 18) team."
 
 Mark  Martin took  the sixth  spot, followed  by Kevin  Harvick, who  won last
 Sunday  at Charlotte,  Brad Keselowski,  the defending  series champion,  Joey
 Logano and Jamie McMurray.
 
 Dale  Earnhardt  Jr. qualified 12th,  while his Hendrick Motorsports teammate,
 Jimmie  Johnson, placed  24th. Johnson is the current points leader and winner
 of last year's spring race at Dover. He is tied with Bobby Allison and Richard
 Petty for most all-time wins at this track with seven.
 
 Danica Patrick will start 39th.
 
 All  43 drivers  who attempted qualifying made the starting field for Sunday's
 400-mile race at Dover, which is scheduled to start just after 1 p.m. ET.
 
 05/31 17:57:50 ET

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