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Denny Hamlin grabs the pole at Bristol

August 23, 2013

BRISTOL, Tennessee (AP) — Denny Hamlin has won the pole for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Hamlin turned a lap at 128.969 mph (207.555 kph) around the 0.53-mile (0.86-kilometer) bullring in Friday qualifying to put his Toyota in the top starting spot at Bristol for the first time of his career.

It was good enough to hold off five-time Bristol winner Kurt Busch, who qualified second with a lap of 128.770 mph (207.235 kph). It’s the seventh front-row starting spot of the season for Busch, who is suddenly a hot commodity on the free-agent market with an offer to join Stewart-Haas Racing next season.

Carl Edwards qualified third and was followed by Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth as Toyota drivers took three of the top five spots.