Hamlin puts Toyota on Phoenix pole

Denny Hamlin broke the Ford streak in NASCAR Cup Series qualifying Saturday at Phoenix Raceway by claiming the pole with a lap of 132.655mph (27.138s).

Hamlin was fastest in both rounds of qualifying. It is his 41st career pole and third at Phoenix Raceway.

“I’m really trying to get better at this place,” Hamlin said. “It seems like since 2019, the Next Gen era really, we just haven’t been as strong at this racetrack as we want to. So, if we want to make a run at a championship and you have to win it through Phoenix, you have to get better at Phoenix.

“I’m really working hard at getting better at Phoenix; the whole team is and it’s a great start for our whole Brakes Plus Toyota. So, pretty happy about it.”


Hamlin scored Toyota its 150th pole in the Cup Series.

Ty Gibbs will join his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate on the front row. Gibbs ran a lap of 132.227mph. The effort ties a career-best starting position in the Cup Series for Gibbs, who also qualified on the front row at Martinsville Speedway last fall.

Chase Elliott qualified third (132.144mph), Erik Jones qualified fourth (132.115mph), and William Byron qualified fifth (132.018mph). Byron is the defending race winner.

Tyler Reddick qualified sixth (132.013mph), Noah Gragson qualified seventh (131.714mph), and Chase Briscoe qualified eighth (131.565mph). Michael McDowell qualified ninth (131.195mph), and Carson Hocevar qualified 10th (130.923mph).

Cup Series point leaders Kyle Larson qualified 17th. Larson’s lap was 132.144mph.

Derek Kraus qualified 25th for Kaulig Racing in his second Cup Series start. Kraus ran a lap of 131.444mph.

Kyle Busch qualified 31st at 131.281mph.

Josh Berry qualified last, 36th. Berry clipped the apron with the left front of his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang Dark Horse in Turns 3 and 4 and spun. The car hit the wall with the left front that the team is working on repairing before Sunday’s race.

The Shriners Children’s 500 is at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX.


Story originally appeared on Racer