Denny Hamlin set a new track qualifying record at Bristol with a lap at 129.991 mph.
Bristol, TN (SportsNetwork.com) -
Denny Hamlin won the pole for the Food City 500 after beating Brad Keselowski by 0.003 seconds in Friday's qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Hamlin, the driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, set a new track qualifying record at Bristol with a lap at 129.991 mph. He surpassed the previous record of 129.535 mph, set by his JGR teammate, Kyle Busch, one year ago. Hamlin claimed his 18th career pole in the Sprint Cup Series. He won the pole for the night race at Bristol last August.
This was the first time NASCAR's new knockout-style of qualifying was used on a short track. It was also the first for the new rules package with the cars.
Earlier this week, NASCAR tweaked the qualifying format due to recent safety concerns and issues with teams cooling down their engines. Teams were allowed to use a cool-down unit to lower engine temperatures. NASCAR also banned cool- down laps during qualifying.
Tough road ahead for Vettel, Red Bull
By Chris Symeon, Motorsports Editor
Melbourne, Australia (Sports Network) -
Heading into this weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are not feeling too optimistic about winning their fifth straight Formula One championships this year.
It's been a frustrating past few months for Red Bull in pre-season testing, as the team has endured numerous technical issues with its 2014 car, the RB10. F1's new regulations for this season have been more challenging for some teams, particularly Red Bull, compared to others, such as Mercedes, Williams and Force India.